Jesus’ ability to turn water into wine probably explains why he had more followers than Stephen Fry. If he was on Twitter today there’d be a crowd of city girls forming Belieber inspired fan groups in a bid to get their grubby paws on some of his budget cocktail recipes.

Sadly I’ve never found a way of turning water into wine. (Trust me I’ve tried. There was even a misadventure in fifth year science class with a bottle of ethanol, hydrochloric acid and a Bunsen burner. Turns out watered down school acid *can* burn through uniforms.) So it seems, without miracle powers on our hands, we have to find other ways to make alcohol.

And that’s why God created the Portuguese wine valleys. (Probably on the first day.)

girl in wine valley

Located in the Douro Valley, two hours from Porto airport, the Quinta Da Pacheca Wine House Hotel is a cosy boutique property in the middle of the action. (The wine making action that is.) Offering tours of the grounds and a beautiful restaurant serving local cuisine, it’s a sun soaked little drinking paradise. It’s also one of the many places in the region that produces Port. (Which promoted me to say “Port’s from Porto!? *lightbulb moment* OH! I ONLY JUST REALISED THAT!”)

port barrells

wine valley hotel

There’s limited wifi so you’ll be swapping our iPhone for a glass of red.  Despite the initial blind panic, I quite enjoyed my 24 hour email free time.

salt cod

Salt cod is one of the region’s local specialities. Apparently there’s over 100 different recipes for the fish but this one was pretty good.

wine hotel restaurant

A room at the Quinta Da Pachea will set you back around EUR 140 a night in high season, (which isn’t bad split between two.) If you want to splash out on some super luxury, head to the nearby Aquapura Hotel Villas Spa. It’s a design hotel so rooms are large and open plan with baths next to the bed. (It sounds odd but trust me, they were like a little slice of spa flavoured heaven hand delivered to a hotel room.)

plunge pool in hotel room

Yes. That is a plunge pool in the middle of the bedroom.  Quite honesty, I’m not sure I’ve ever felt love quite like it. Even the guy in our high school rock band.

spa rooms

In high season rooms here start at 300 EUR a night so it’s the kind of place you go when a very rich old relative you barely know dies and leaves you loads of money. (It might happen.) Even if you have to sell a kidney scrimp and save yourself, it’s 100% worth it. And since flights to Porto start at £40 return with budget airlines, a night of luxury might be a feasible addition to your holiday.