The Dão wine region is located in the center of northern Portugal and has a geographical area of around 376 000 hectares.
It was in 1908, with the Bill of Law of 18 September, that the Dão Region was recognized, and only in 1910 did it obtain a regulation for the production and marketing of wines. However, with the Estado Novo (an authoritarian political regime that operated in Portugal for 41 years, from 1933 to 1974), the region began to have a new responsible and regulatory body, the União Vinícola do Dão.
Sub-Regions of the Dão Wine Region
The Dão Region is made up of seven sub-regions: Alva, which includes the municipalities of Oliveira do Hospital and Tábua; Besteiros, which includes the municipalities of Mortágua, Santa Comba Dão and Tondela; Castendo, which includes the municipalities of Penalva do Castelo and Sátão; Serra da Estrela, which includes the municipalities of Gouveia and Seia; Silgueiros, which includes the municipality of Viseu; Terras de Azurara, which includes the municipality of Mangualde; and Terras de Senhorim, which includes the municipalities of Carregal do Sal and Nelas.
Types of Wine and Grape Varieties from the Dão Wine Region
In addition to the special climatic conditions, the production methods used and the great wine-growing knowledge of the population of Dão, the characteristics of its wines are related to the use of the most appropriate varieties, within those recommended for the region.
The most planted red varieties in this region are: Touriga Nacional, Alfrocheiro, Aragonez and Jaen. The red wines of the Dão Region are sparkling, ruby colored, full-bodied, with a delicate aroma and flavor. However, with aging they become smooth and velvety.
On the other hand, the most planted white varieties in the region are Encruzado and Malvasia Fina, thus creating white wines with a citrus yellow color, smooth aroma and fruity flavor, light and fresh.
Terroir of the Dão Wine Region
The Dão region is surrounded by the mountain ranges of Caramulo, Buçaco, Nave and Estrela. It is a region of contrasts: warmer in the west, colder in the north and east, gentle hills, deep valleys, forests and hillsides. Winters are wet and summers are sunny, hot and dry.
With mostly granitic soils (north and center of the region) and schist (southern part), the terroir of this region is influenced by the mountains that surround it and protect it from the sea winds.
Pairing Dão wines with food
The older red wines from this region combine perfectly with roasts, such as roasted chicken, roasted vegetable salad, roasted vegetables, among others. Another good option are game dishes, as they have an intense flavor, and these wines have characteristics to match to make a great combination.
When it comes to white wines, a good cod dish is a good choice, as the wines from this region are aromatic and have some acidity, which makes it a good contrast.