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CASA DE SÃO MATIAS - SHORT HISTORY

The Casa de São Matias, located in the parish council of Tourais, Seia municipality, was named after the incorporation of a singular baroque chapel in 1745, which invocated Saint Matthias – one of the twelve Apostles, after occupying Judas Iscariot’s vacant place.

It is a typical manor house from the Beira region, built stone upon stone, throughout centuries, to rise beautifully above the harsh granitic landscape. Today, those first stones are now nothing but a memory.


The view ahead, of the Serra da Estrela, brings the first light of the day. At sunset, the light returns to the majestic mountains, often with maddening colours hovering over the white snow.

The House is now property of António Vicente Magalhães da Silveira Montenegro, descendent of many important families from many origins, with the Casa de São Matias as their common background.

The House also represents much labour. The barns and mills have always been the birth of the Bread, Wine and Olive Oil, which have provided so many generations with their livelihood.

To label and to name a project of wines impregnated with the elegance and character of such a place and its memories; to share them with those who privilege real tastes; and to bring them into the 21st century: all of this is a family responsibility which can now be fulfilled.

CASA DE SÃO MATIAS - THE FAMILY


... a family responsibility now fulfilled: that is the final message on the label of our wine bottles, that we put together with much affection.

To write briefly about the history of a Family based on its birthplace, this House which now gives name to a renewed wine project, is a challenge.

But we want to tell it truthfully and in all its essence.

In this House in Tourais, Seia municipality, unknown centuries hide the story of many interwoven marriages that led to the birth of current owner António Vicente Magalhães da Silveira Montenegro.

A chapel in honour of Saint Matthias, of a rare baroque splendour, was inaugurated in 1745 by Father Matias de Almeida Ferrão, who was born in the House. The chapel marked the third stage of the House’s final construction.

Several documents point us towards Filipe Xavier de Nápoles, a great “friend” and renovator of the House in the late 1700s and early 1800s. From this point onwards, he directed a true agricultural “industry”, which can still be witnessed today in important wine and olive oil mills.

Then came the Frias family, historically acknowledged heroes in the Peninsular War and in the Siege of Porto, the Costa Nogueira family, the Albuquerques Vilhena and Garcia de Mascarenhas families, and in the 19th century, the Silveira Montenegro family. Producers of “fine wine” from Douro, the Silveira Montenegro settled in Tourais after linking with the Cabral Soares de Albergaria and the Caldeira Castello Branco e Melo families, both from the Beira region.

Until mid-1900s, the wine and the vineyard were great providers for the family. A part of the production was consumed within the family, alongside relatives and friends. The other part was already on the open market.

There are numerous records of vineyards and vineyard “parts” owned by the Casa de São Matias’ many landholders.

Later on, and despite the efforts of several men to keep their ancestors’ vineyard alive, two generations were withheld from the land by the courts.

The tradition is now renewed through this wine. A tradition which is now revived, with the much necessary new techniques and demands in the production process, by the hands of the current owner – now free from courthouse duties – and especially by one of his sons, who also goes by the name of António da Silveira Montenegro and who is not only experienced in the wine-making Art, but also passionate about it.

Nothing would have been accomplished without putting out heart into a project that brings us such affectionate memories.

We remind ourselves that the wine was the base of the first miracle in Jesus Christ’s life, according to the Scriptures. It was a sacred moment of particular joy and communion, a remembrance which we are guided by as well.

So, once again... it is a family responsibility now fulfilled, a joy we wish to share with many people we hope will appreciate the Dão Wines – São Matias.

António Vicente Magalhaes da Silveira Montenegro