The second episode of CNN Original Series, “Wines of Portugal: Tradition and Technology”, was even one of the most important wine regions in Portugal, call of give. There are countless cities, and in all of them you can see the vineyards. The Dão region has a very famous peak, called Serra da Estrela, and every winter it receives thousands of tourists who go snowboarding and enjoy the charming city with restaurants and shops at the foot of the mountains.
More than 300 types of grapes are grown in the country, and part of it is in the Dão region, about 3 hours from Lisbon. They explained to me that the place has a terroir (a kind of RG of the grape) that is very interesting, because it is a mountainous place and, like here in Brazil, these places usually have a large temperature range. Very cold at night and hot during the day. This, for winemakers, brings a special touch to the grape and its terroir.
The country is divided into grape and wine producing regions. Douro is one, Alentejo is another. Just like the Dan. Those who produce wine usually have their own grape plantation – which can have several types grown on the same land.
When creating the drink, the winemaker (the master in charge!) decides which grapes he wants to use. If the wine gains more than one grape, it is called a blend; if it has only one, it is called a monocaste. In Dão, there is a lot of Touriga Nacional, Encruzado and Alfrocheiro Preto.
Not everything went as we planned, as the idea was to show the summit of Serra da Estrela, a place that looked stunning from the photos. But we were surprised by a huge wind, mixed with rain, fog, ice.
Because of this, we came down early from the mountain and ended up finding a very simple and traditional shop in the region, where I tasted the famous Serra da Estrela cheese (made with sheep’s milk) and had a glass of wine for 1 euro. And it was delicious!
Message for beginners in the world of wine: there are many cool tips in this episode, including which glass to use to drink wine and the ideal amount to put in it.
Message to the connoisseurs: I met a winery that controls the temperature of the vats through water belts that are outside it. It’s a very interesting and very modern technology. Portuguese have made huge investments in innovation.
Curious and inspired? Here are the exact addresses from where we went:
The architecture of the place is the first interesting detail. A postcard from the so-called “new Dão”. The company is managed by a young and cool woman, Lígia, who brings with her the mission of demystifying the world of wine. As in almost all wineries, they have a store that sells all labels with prices ranging from 7 to 18 euros. You can schedule a tasting, aroma game (I did!) and a tour of the vineyards.
Address: Rua de Carvalhal, 50, 3520-011, Nelas, Portugal
Contact: [email protected] / +351 232 940 195
They are huge, they grow in Dão, Bairrada, Douro, Alentejo and Vinho Verde. The place is super charming to visit, as it has, in addition to the shop and tours, a huge restaurant – and de-li-ci-o-so. You can have a tasting menu, commented pairings, tours of the production, participate in themed events. The Pedra Cancela label is one of their favorites, and the best seller in Brazil.
Address: Avenida da Liberdade, 15, 3520-061, Nelas, Portugal
Contact: [email protected] / +351 232 942 153
Quinta dos Carvalhais
This farm is part of a gigantic and traditional group called Sogrape. They use over 60 types of grapes and have over 900 hectares of vineyards. An interesting detail is that they installed meteorological measurement points in all the growing places, which brings more precision in the care of the grape. Some of their lovelies: Touriga Nacional and Encruzado.
Address: Quinta dos Caravalhais, 3530-063, Mangualde, Portugal
Contact: +351 232 610 080
They are Brazilians! This visit was very special, as it is a Brazilian family who decided to install their winery in Dão. I dare say it was one of the tastiest wines I’ve ever tasted, especially the White Grape Texture of the Star. The cool thing about this production is that they have the essence of intervening as little as possible in the winemaking process, from the grape land to the fermentation vats. I recommend visiting the winery and tasting. very tasty.
Address: Sítio Moinhos da Serra, Estrada Gouveia-Nabais, 6290-411, São Paio, Portugal
Contact: [email protected] / +351 238 011 259
Reference: CNN Brasil