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Region of the Month – Dão

The Dao

The Dão vineyard area lies south of the Douro. It is inland and mountainous like the Douro and takes its name from a tributary of the River Mondego. The best vineyards are at an altitude of between 200 and 500 meters, this is due to its protected position as the climates are mild and do not vary a great deal.

The soils in the Dão are granite and produce immensely food-friendly wines: well structured intense whites, and reds which are elegantly fruity and floral.

The key grape varieties are: Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Jaen, Alfrocheiro (reds) and Encruzado Malvasia (whites)

Dao Sul

We interviewed wine maker Carlos Lucas from Dão Sul in the Dão, to find out what life is like as a winemaker in Portugal

Which of the wines you make is your favourite?

“It’s not easy to answer to that question. Each wine that I make, like everything in my life, I dedicate a lot of time, love and attention to it and it’s almost like choosing between which son you love the most.

But I would have to say that my favourite wine that I make in the Dão Region is the Cabriz, Colheita Seleccionada, Red Wine. It´s a wine that year after year has maintained and increased the quality standards of the wines from the Dão Region wining its place in the minds and thoughts of our friends, costumers and wine lovers spread all around the world. It’s a beautifully balanced, food-friendly and modern wine with soft tannins and an aromatic complexity revealed with unusual elegance. It’s a wine for the everyday drinker who after a hard day of labour arrives at home or gathers around with some friends and likes to enjoy the good things that life has to offer without bothering about anything else. ”

3 words to describe this favourite wine? Elegance, modernity and uncomplicated.

“What international food would you match with it? This wine comes from one of the most traditional wine regions of Portugal and it’s made with its traditional grape varieties (Touriga Nacional, Aragonez – a.k.a. Tempranillo – and Alfrocheiro). Taking into consideration the characteristics of this wine I would match it with pasta and poultry. But it’s a very versatile wine and its suitable for the majority of the everyday food.”

What do you do when you’re not making wine?

“I try to spend the rest of my spare time with my family and friends, who are my pillars and my strength, cooking with them and always with a good bottle of wine around. In the remaining part of my time, which is not a lot, I enjoy motor sports and another of my hobbies is target shooting.”