Dão wine region is surrounded by mountains protecting the vines from the chill and rains from the ocean and the direct impact of continental climate. This wine region is located in the center of the country, where you will find the vineyards from 200 m (656 ft ) to 1000 metres (3280 ft) above the sea level.
The highest part is located to the south and east area of Serra da Estrela Mountain . Its highest point, at an altitude of 1993 meters and called Torre, usually with snow in the winter. There are 16.000 hectares of vines in this wine region.
Due to the altitude it’s common to have coolest nights, slower ripening, good aroma and acidity. Another characteristic is great elegance on Dão wines, on white and red wines. The wines in general age well.
The vineyards are often found in very small patches of vines. The soils are granitic and very poor, even with some schist on the west and south parts of the wine region. Dão wine region winemakers see the results specially on grapes such as Touriga Nacional, Alfrocheiro, Aragonez (Tinta Roriz) and Encruzado . However, you will find other grape varieties.
Lafões is a tiny sub-region of Dão based on granitic soils. The area is located in the north-west making borders with Vinho Verde wine region. Wines from this subregion are more similar to Vinho Verde (green wines) which presents a highest acidity as distinguish feature of the wines.
In the region you will discover besides wines, several local products which match the climate or farming options . Products such as traditional jams, alheira, farinheira, honey and excellent famous cheese specially from Serra da Estrela mountain. Some of the common fruits in the region are : strawberries, apples, hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, chestnuts.
Dão Wine Region grape varieties
Do you want to know more about gastronomy? Goatling and Lamb are some of the traditional recipes of the region, however many other options. These two are more related to wine pairing because of the wine acidity, we believe .
Red grapes: Touriga Nacional, Alfrocheiro, Tinta Roriz ( known as Tempranillo in Spain or Aragonez), Jaen, Baga, Bastard, Tinta Pinheira.
White Grapes: Encruzado, Bical, Cercial, Malvasia Fina, Rabo de Ovelha and Verdelho.
Lafões Grape Varieties
Red grapes: Amaral, Jean.
White grapes: Arinto, Cerceal, Dona Branca, Esgana Cão and Rabo de Ovelha .