James Mayor - Private Guide in Porto
Languages: English, French
My name is James Mayor and I am an Englishman, born in London. Today, I live in Porto, in Portugal.
My first job was selling wine in London. Later, I moved to Paris and opened an art gallery. Through these experiences, I became fascinated by the place wine occupies in art and realized I really enjoy talking to people who make wine. I discovered that a talented winemaker is like a great artist: they create in the exciting space between agriculture and artistic invention.
During these years, I often travelled to most of Europe’s notable wine regions. Yet on my first visit to Portugal’s Douro Valley, I was knocked completely sideways by the grandeur of the landscape. I soon found this spectacular place has a different rhythm from other wine regions: it’s peaceful but with the energetic undercurrent of strong local communities and gifted producers making superb wines. The traditional way of life is balanced with bold innovation, resulting in truly great winemaking.
I returned often to the Douro. My best trips were those where I met the people who make a place special. I got to know the locals. Later, I became one of them by moving to Porto.
I have a strong desire to share Douro wines full and unique context with travellers, to show you where its physical and cultural terroir intertwine to produce extraordinary wine.