Portuguese wine regions

A bit of history

The story goes that, before the Portuguese headed to conquer Ceuta, in the XV century, Prince Henry had Dão wine served in the festivities set prior to the journey. Would you imagine a western government man of our time celebrating an anticipated conquer with a feast? Anyway, the fact is that Dão wine was served then. And it still is. Fortunately!

Surrounded on all sides by mountains, the Dão region is protected both from the direct influence of the continental climate, and from the chill and rains from the ocean.

This is high country, rising from 200 metres above sea level at its lowest spots to 1,000 metres in the Serra da Estrela, the high mountain range to the south and east of the region. High altitude makes for cool nights, slower ripening, good acidity and aroma, and the potential for great elegance in the wines, both red and white.

Dão wines can usually age well. Vineyards, often very small patches of vines, are scattered at various altitudes amidst pine forests. Soils are very poor and granitic, with some schist to the south-west.

What to expect?

Most of all? Elegant reds. The region’s weather and terroir hold hands with varieties like Touring Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Alfrocheiro or Jaen, to produce perfumed, tasty, balanced blends.


Elegance. Rubi coloured with brick-colour reflexes, these are complex, delicate wines. They hold an intense aroma of mature fruit and a mellow texture.

Common varieties: Alfrocheiro, Alvarelhão, Aragonez, Bastardo, Jaen, Tinto-Cão, Touriga Nacional, Trincadeira


Citric colour, fruity, complex aroma. Dão whites are usually smooth and fresh with balanced acidity. Star white grape is Encruzado, making styles ranging from light, fresh whites to richer, barrel-fermented versions.

Common varieties: Barcelo, Bical, Cerceal-Branco, Encruzado, Malvasia-Fina, Rabo-de-Ovelha, Terrantez, Uva-Cão, Verdelho


Their colour is, well… pinky. The aroma: floral and fruity. Dão rosés are light and fresh, with the right acidity to make them feel even fresher.


Citric, rubi ou rosés. Always fruity and fresh, Dão sparkling wines are elegant and present us with proper acidity, with a delicate, persistent bubble.

Adapted from: Wines of Portugal