(UNITED STATES; July 31, 2020) – Portugal is one of the top European travel destinations, acclaimed for its unparalleled viticulture and fortified wines. Located along the banks of the Douro River, Porto, the vibrant city known for its extensive history, beautiful architecture and stunning views, will become a hub of the global tourism industry with the opening of WOW, Porto Wine District on July 31st.
Following five years of development and $117 million of investment, WOW is a collection of six immersive museum experiences, nine restaurants, bars, and cafes, event spaces, temporary exhibition space, retail outlets, and a wine school. Covering more than 429,050 square-feet of restored and regenerated wine cellars, WOW is a new cultural district within the city and is one of the largest tourism projects to launch in Europe this year.
Located in the historic Vila Nova de Gaia, WOW has been strategically designed to provide exceptional views over Porto and the Douro River. Helmed by Broadway Maylan, the build was completed without disturbing the existing landscape by utilizing pre-existing historical structures centered around a new open-air square to provide optimal views of the stunning landscape.
WOW will offer world-class, multi-sensory experiences appealing to a wide variety of visitors all curated by experts in the fields of wine, history, and culture. The July opening will see The Wine Experience demystify wine, taking visitors on a sensorial journey of discovery – exploring the regions, climates, grape varieties, and production methods that make wine so diverse. Porto Region Across The Ages, aims to lay bare Porto’s history, helping to put the city, its people and culture into context. At Planet Cork, visitors will discover cork and explore this underplayed sustainable and innovative industry. The Bridge Collection – 9,000 Years of Drinking, tells the story of humanity through the evolution of drinking vessels from WOW CEO Adrian Bridge’s personal collection. While The Chocolate Story takes the visitor on a journey through the wonderful world of cacao and chocolate, drawing parallels between the harvesting and processing of grapes and cacao.
Later in 2020, WOW will open the sixth experience in the form of the Fashion & Fabric Museum, which shines a light on Portugal’s textiles, fashion and jewelry industry and the WOW Wine School, which will offer a variety of daily and multi-day workshops on Portuguese wine and gastronomy in partnership with the Wine & Spirit Education Trust.
The central square will also provide access to a variety of wining and dining options. ‘Angel’s Share’ wine bar, ‘1828’ fine dining restaurant, ‘Root & Vine’ vegetarian fare, and ‘Golden Catch’ fish restaurants all feature panoramic views of the city. Additional casual fare options include ‘Suspiro’ dessert café, Lemon Plaza for grab & go options, and a bistrot offering traditional Portuguese cuisine.
WOW founder and CEO, Adrian Bridge, commented, “Our goal at WOW is to help define Porto as a cultural destination through engaging educational experiences, telling the story not only of wine for which the city is world famous, but also of the city, its people and their adventures across the ages. For any visitor to Porto or Portugal, WOW should be on their list of things to do and see.”
The project is spearheaded by The Fladgate Partnership, owners of iconic Port wine brands such as Taylor, Croft, Fonseca, and Krohn, as well as luxury hotels in Portugal including The Yeatman and Infante Sagres in Porto, and The Vintage House Hotel in the Douro Valley.
World of Wine experiences are priced at €15, with the exception of The Bridge Collection – which will be €10. Children, students, groups, and multi-experience discounts are provided.Learn More