Located in the heart of Portugal, Dão is one of the most ancient wine regions in our country. Full of stories and contrasts, it is a true open vineyard and wine museum, where traces from the past can be found at every step.
The references to the vineyard and the wine in almost every council and local ordinances prove the great social, economical and religious importance they have had throughout history. The Dão is the first Portuguese wine region to be regulated, back in 1910 – two years after its creation.
The vineyards are almost anonymous in the landscape. They are hidden by an uneven terrain, surrounded by great mountain ranges – the Caramulo to the west, the luxurious Buçaco to the south, the Nave up north and the imponent Estrela to the east. The mountains protect the land from external influences, such as the humid air masses from the coast or the strong winds from the continent. The smallholding areas and the exhuberant vegetation alternating with the rock also give their contribution for the vineyards to go unnoticed. Nevertheless, there they are, planted across the 49 acres of land, where the locals enjoy outstanding soil and weather conditions to exploit their ancestral agricultural capacities.
The hydrographic network of the region has clearly been shaped by the mountains where the two main rivers – the Dão and the Mondego – flow from. These two rivers have exceptionally similar lines. The Alva river is the third most important water stream in the region.
The vines are set on low fertility soils, predominantly granitic and with several schist outcrops south and west of the region. Despite most vines are planted at an altitude of over 2,600 feet, they grow best at an altitude of 1,300 – 1,600 feet.
The temperate climate is cold and rainy in the winter and very hot and dry in the summer. There are, however, microclimatic variations of great importance for the quality of the wines. In sum, the Dão has unique conditions for the production of singular, well-defined wines.
Beyond the special soil and weather conditions, the singularity of the Dão wines is also related to the use of the most appropriate grape varieties – among those recommended for the region. The main grape varieties used in the production of DOC Dão wines are: Alfrocheiro, Jaen, Tinta Roriz and Touriga Nacional, for red wines; and Encruzado for white wines.
Let yourself go in the trails and landscapes of the Dão region and contemplate what this land has produced that ended up in your glass.