The Dão

Birthplace of great wines with a classic profile and enormous longevity

A charming landscape of gently rolling hills, set between majestic mountains, and cut by rivers and pine & eucalyptus forests, where ancient old houses and palaces replete with history combine with the dreams of the friendly hardworking people. Here, protected by walls and natural forest lie the vineyards of Taboadella, where we plan to produce wines that are both classic and distinctive.

“For us the Dão is one of the most promising and historic wine regions in the country. Birthplace of great wines with a classic profile and enormous longevity, a unique and historic ‘terroir’ that not only demonstrates the potential of Touriga Nacional and Encruzado, but of other Portuguese varieties too. We came to invest is a region with a great history, and without doubt, has a great future.”
Luísa Amorim, Taboadella, June 2018

A region demarcated in 1908

The Dão region was officially constituted in 1908, set against a background of great turmoil in the European vineyard - in full battle against the phyloxerra epidemic - becoming the premier wine producing region in Portugal for non sweetened wines. Originally named "Região Vinícola da Beira Alta", in 1912 after its geographical surroundings, with 16 "councils", just as they exist today, having then been reorganised into 7 sub-regions, in 1933. Of the total of 376.000 ha just a small area of 5% of the agricultural land is dedicated to vines with the title "Denomination of Protected Origin".

The Dão and its micro-terroirs

An area with characteristics that are genuinely unique in the world

Situated in the Beira Alta, in a mountainous enclave of north-central Portugal, the demarcated region of Dão is an area with characteristics that are genuinely unique in the world, surrounded by mountains and featuring river confluences. The Dão is a classic region with distinct rocky outcrops and vines planted between 100m and 800m altitude, in the main (more than 90%) in rocky terraces of granite with good drainage. The average vineyard holding is just 0.35 Ha The unique geomorphology which creates several unique and different micro-terroirs, contributes to the enormous diversity of wine styles from both black and white grapes (10,683 Ha and 2,613 Ha respectively).

Between Mountains and Rivers, an Authentic Region

With its 48 hectares of vines Taboadella has one of the most important records of the local agricultural system.

Undulating high plains are bound by a well-defined solid chain of mountains : to the north and east by serra da Nave (WNW-ESE, 1016m), to the southeast and south by the serra da Estrela (SW-NE, 1993m) and serra do Açor (SW-NE, 1418m) and to the west by the line of the serra do Buçaco (NNW-SSE, 549m) and serra do Caramulo (NNE-SSW, 1075m), which protect the vineyards from the Atlantic winds and occasional bad weather from Spain. A climate of rainy winters (annual rainfall is between 1100mm and 1600mm), with some early Spring frosts, and hot dry summers, results in a countryside of lush vegetation, pure air, clear watercourses and some of the purest rivers, emblematic of Portugal: the Paiva and the Vouga (NE) and the Dão, Mondego and the Alva (SW), all coming together at the aptly named ‘funnel of Penacova.

Ancestral local grape varietes, touriga nacional and encruzado

Of the twenty or so grape varieties recommended for use in the Dão, that mark the different styles and qualities of our greatest wines, the Touriga Nacional and Encruzado stand out and have successfully travelled to other regions.

Touriga Nacional, iconic among the most notable Portuguese varieties in the world, originates in this region – from the village of Tourigo in the sub region of Besteiros, Tondela. It makes a red wine of deep colour, full of body and structure, rich in tannins with an explosive and concentrated flavour, rich in aromas of flowers and fruit. The Encruzado, also known as the Salgueirinho, is almost exclusively cultivated in this region.

Unlike other Portuguese varieties with a long history,Encruzado is relatively recent arrival, appearing first around 70 years ago. It produces wines that are surprisingly elegant and complex with vegetal and floral notes, and elevated freshness and long persistent finish.

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