Peso da Régua's important role as municipality only achieved its zenith in 1836, after the Marquess of Pombal designated the Douro, its vineyards and wine, as a quality brand for export.
This was helped through the creation of Companhia Geral das Vinhas do Alto Douro, in 1756, which delimited the vineyards of the Douro Valley by granite markers (Portuguese: Marcos de Feitora) to regulate the vineyards and wines produced. After this point, through commercialization and centralization, Régoa began to become the centre of the region.
Traditionally the wine barrels were taken downstream on the flat-bottomed cargo boats known as rabelo. These traditional craft can still be seen on the river in the center of town. They have become a tourist attraction though visitors are more likely to sail the Douro on a giant cruise ship or the smaller craft that offer short, 1-hour tours of the riveren.wikipedia.org