Dão is quickly becoming the most sought-after region for Portuguese winemakers to venture into; according to many, it’s one of the world’s most perfect microclimates: mountains protect it from continental heat to the east and Douro’s heat to north, and cool Atlantic breezes come inland to keep the overall temperatures more regulated, making for wines with bright acidity, ethereal aromatics, and compelling complexity. The DO’s granitic soils allow indigenous grapes to shine through in the wines, and provide firm, crunchy tannin against the bright fruit. Alvaro Castro has noted that “if God were to design a wine-growing region, what he would come up with would look a lot like the Dão.” There is no modern Dão without one of the region’s longtime legends, Alvaro Castro, whose estate encompasses two small properties (or “quintas”) known as Pellada and Saes. Alvaro makes wine here with his daughter Maria, carrying on a tradition of winemaking on this property that dates to the 16th century! Together, they have resisted the internationalization push of the ‘80s and ‘90s, instead doubling down on their slow-wine approach, using local varieties grown and crafted in the true Dāo “field blend” style.
The Dão is home to the finest plantings of Touriga Naçional in Portugal. The microclimate that protects it from the extreme heat of the eastern winds and the overly wet conditions to the north and west provides a cool, temperate setting for Touriga to showcase its hallmark rose petal aromatics and soft fruit. Aged in neutral oak, this is a pure, unadulterated expression of Dão Touriga.
Average age of 15 years. Tended in granite and clay soil at 550m (1811ft) elevation.
Pair with roast pork, lighter game like rabbit and quail, and mushroom dishes.