The Dão

The Dão Demarcated Region was set up in 1908 and is worth a careful visit. Firstly, because the vineyards lie hidden by pine trees, broom, brushwood or walls. Sitting in a car, one metre above the ground, one sees very little or nothing at all. We must set off to explore, to find people, tread the earth and breathe the magic of a winery. Our route will take in mountains and villages, go along mountain paths or the streets of historical towns, narrow mountain trails or riverbanks.

We will pass through cities and villages, small towns and hamlets, nameless places, wasteland and noble castles. We will walk through the lands of Penalva, Tábua and Santa Comba; peek into the corners of Aguiar da Beira, Fornos de Algodres, Gouveia, Sátão and Seia; linger in Carregal do Sal, Arganil and Mangualde and go to Nelas, Oliveira do Hospital, Mortágua and Tondela. We will sample the wine on estates or in wineries behind austere façades with coats of arms and stonework, and we will see that no two estates are the same, that each one is a world unto itself. Finally, there is Viseu, a living museum, a city of art and the capital of the region. And all this fits into the large surrounding hill ranges which protect, seal off and guard its secrets.

Because only in secret can you produce a masterpiece: Dão wine.

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