Situated in the heart of Portugal, Dão region is one of the oldest wine regions in our country, a region of contrasts and stories.The region is a veritable museum of vine and wine out in the open, since we can still find, at every step, traces of the past.
References to vineyards and wine in charters of almost all municipalities and municipal ordinances attest to its great social, economic and religious importance throughout history. This is the first demarcated region of pasture to be regulated in Portugal in 1910, although it was created in 1908.
The rugged terrain, surrounded by a set of tall mountains that protect it from outside influences (at west, Serra do Caramulo, south, the lush Buçaco, north, the impressive Serra da Nave and east, the imposing Serra da Estrela), which constitute an important barrier to humid masses of the rugged coastline or continental winds, the small farms and the lush green vegetation of all shades, alternating with rock, contribute to the almost anonymity of the vineyard in the landscape. And yet, the vines are planted there in about 20,000 hectares, where the people of Dão enjoy the excellent edapho-climatic conditions to explore their ancestral soil capability.
The region hydrographic network is characterized by a rigid trace, indicating a clear adjustment to the landscape physical shape, where the two main rivers of the region run – the Dão and Mondego – whose courses have a high level of parallelism while running over the granite massif.
The Alva River is the third major watercourse in the region.
The vineyards are located on lands of low fertility, predominantly granitic with several outcrops of schist from the south and west of the region. Yet located at elevations around 800 meters, it is between the 400-500 meters where it grows in greater quantity.
The weather, despite being seasoned, is cold and rainy in winter and hot and dry in summer, but with microclimate variations of great importance to the quality of wines; and thus fulfill the unique conditions for producing wines with distinct and well-defined characteristics.
In addition to the special edapho-climatic conditions, the particular characteristics of Dão wines are deeply related to the use of the most appropriate varieties, within the recommended for the region. The main varieties for the production of DOC Dão wines are: Alfrocheiro, Jaen, Tinta Roriz and Touriga Nacional, in reds, and Encruzado, in whites.
Let’s get lost in the paths and landscapes of Dão and make the much-needed stops to contemplate what this land brought to your glass.