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Best Regional Wines in Portugal

Dão and Bairrada

Have you visited these regions yet? If not, why wait? Discover the best regional wines and products today!

The Dão Region

Through the hills and valleys of Beira Alta, you’ll find the Dão region, known for its exceptional wines. This area stretches over hills and valleys, protected by mountain ranges that shield it from coastal humidity and harsh continental winds. These natural barriers, such as the mountains of Nave, Montemuro, and Lapa to the north and Serra da Estrela to the east, create an ideal environment for producing wines with a high capacity for aging in the bottle.

The region’s three major rivers, the Dão, Mondego, and Alva, cross the sinuous landscape, with vineyards predominantly located between 400 and 700 meters of altitude. These vineyards thrive in granitic or schist soils, fostering diverse microclimates that are vital for viticulture.

The Dão region boasts a variety of grape types. Red varieties include Touriga Nacional, Alfrocheiro, Jaen, and Aragonês, while the white varieties feature Encruzado, Bical, Cerceal-Branco, Malvasia Fina, and Verdelho. Dão’s white wines are aromatic, fruity, and balanced, while the red wines are full-bodied and gain complexity with bottle aging. These wines pair perfectly with regional gastronomy, such as Serra da Estrela cheese, sausages, kid goat, Bravo de Esmolfe apples, and traditional sweets.

While exploring the Dão region, visit local farms and wineries to discover their stories. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Casa de Santar
  • Casa de São Matias
  • Quinta do Medronheiro
  • Pedra Cancela
  • Adegas Lusovini
  • Quinta Chão de São Francisco
Dão Wine

The Bairrada region

The Bairrada region, established as a Denomination of Controlled Origin (DOC Bairrada) in 1979 for red and white wines, and in 1991 for sparkling wines, is renowned for its excellent wines. This region, bordered by the Vouga river to the north, the Mondego river to the south, the Caramulo and Buçaco mountains to the east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west, features mostly flat terrain.

The vineyards rarely exceed 120 meters in altitude. The flat land and proximity to the ocean provide a climate influenced by the Atlantic, with abundant rainfall and moderate temperatures. The soil composition varies, including clay-limestone, sandy-clay, and sandy-loam soils. Winters are cool, and summers are hot, tempered by westerly and northwesterly winds, especially near the coast.

The Baga grape variety is the region’s standout, producing high-quality red and sparkling wines. Other notable red varieties include Alfrocheiro-Preto, Castelão, Touriga Nacional, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah. Among the white varieties, Arinto, Bical, Cercial, Fernão Pires, and Chardonnay are prominent.

Bairrada is a leading region for sparkling wine production, thanks to its cool and humid climate. These conditions favor the creation of grapes with high acidity and low alcohol content, resulting in fruity sparkling wines with a mineral touch and good structure. These wines pair well with Bairrada’s gastronomic specialties, such as fresh coastal fish, the famous suckling pig, and conventual sweets. No visit to Bairrada is complete without tasting the Leitão à Bairrada, a signature dish of the region.

When in Bairrada, visit the local cellars and wineries for wine tastings. Don’t miss the Bairrada Wine Museum in Anadia and the Aliança Underground Museum, where wines and spirits age alongside eight artistic collections. Some recommended cellars and wineries include:

  • Adega Luís Pato
  • Caves São João
  • Adega Campolargo
  • Caves Messias
  • Quinta das Bágeiras
Bairrada Wine

Buçaco National Forest

Finally, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the stunning Buçaco National Forest. In the central core of this rich natural and cultural heritage site, you’ll find the Palace Hotel do Buçaco and the Convent of Santa Cruz. The forest is home to various botanical species, making it one of the most treasured national forests.

Ready for this unforgettable journey? Contact us today to create your Tailor-made itinerary and experience the best wines of the Dão and Bairrada regions!

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