The area in and around Pinhão is considered to be the center of port wine, with wine-producing quintas (farms) dotting the slopes that line the river.

The Douro is quite narrow in parts and water levels have historically been inconsistent, but there are now five dams on the Portuguese section of the river which have helped to stabilize water levels and also produce some electric power. The dams have allowed the scheduling of river cruise excursions along the Douro River Valley.