The Region

The Region The Region
Demarcated Region of Dão

It is not possible to determine exactly when the practice of viticulture began in Dão. It is known that it predates Portuguese nationality, being clearly a reflection of the different cultures that were occupying different areas of the Iberian Peninsula.

On September 18, 1908, a Letter of Law formally established the Demarcated Region of Dão. The regulation for the production and marketing of wines produced there came two years later, on May 25, 1910, with the regulatory decree.

With this decision, Dão became the first non-liqueur wine region to be demarcated and regulated in our country.


Distinction of the Demarcated Region of Dão Distinction of the Demarcated Region of Dão
Distinguishing factors:
  • Prestige: Dão wines were sold at higher prices than the national average, benefiting from the praise of agricultural technicians at the time, such as António Augusto Aguiar or Cincinato da Costa. In addition, Dão wines, at the end of the 19th century, managed to obtain distinctions in the great national and international exhibitions of the time, in Lisbon, London, Berlin and Paris.
  • Large Producers: the Dão region benefited from the presence of large wine producers, with some properties being seen as pioneers and even a model at the national level. The names Casa da Ínsua, Conde de Villar Seco, Conde de Santar or José Caetano dos Reis stood out.
  • Influência Política: entre 18 de Setembro de 1908 (data da primeira delimitação da região) e 25 de Maio de 1910 (data da regulamentação) foi exercida uma intensa pressão social e política pelas forças sociais e políticas da região, nos jornais locais e nacionais, no Parlamento, em reuniões sectoriais.

The evolution

Dão has always been famous for the production of table wines with a very particular profile: noble, elegant wines, good choices to accompany various gastronomic creations, with high aging potential and even with some similarities with the prestigious French region of Burgundy.

In the 19th century, the export of Dão wines to France and Brazil was already significant. All these characteristics were recognized and appreciated by consumers, with Dão assuming itself as a privileged region in the country for the production of wine.

However, from the '60s and '70s of the 20th century, the production of Dão wines deteriorated, as they began to focus more on production volume and less on quality. Cooperative wineries dominated the market and the Dão suffered from all the guidance followed at that time.

After a certain “crossing the desert”, the Dão started to return to the most correct path, especially from the mid-1990s onwards, when a very significant improvement began to be seen in most wines in the region, which has This allowed for a fantastic renaissance, largely due to the investment of small winegrowers in the region where Quinta wines came from. Examples of this are Quinta da Pellada/Saes, Quinta dos Roques, Quinta dos Carvalhais, among others.

The new viticultural practices and new winemaking technologies were combined with an entrepreneurial spirit of wanting to do better, with results that have proven that the new options have been the most correct. Some of the most important Portuguese wine companies are represented in Dão, in addition to numerous private producers who have been able to obtain farm wines of already recognized quality.

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