The Dão is a Portuguese wine region that may need introduction -- it’s been sitting in the shadows for too long and it’s time for it to be known around the world. The region is right in the center of Portugal and is commonly considered the Portuguese Burgundy, so you’ll know the wines will be elegant and amazing!
The Dão is filled with amazing towns and dozens of little wine producers - our top pick for a visit is Taboadella, a stunning winery that shows off modern and sustainable features while maintaining its traditional heritage.
Quinta da Taboadella is nestled between pine and eucalyptus forests on a granite plateau below Portugal’s Serra da Estrela national park. The Dão region, which is known for producing some of Portugal’s most elegant, pure and age-worthy wines, has a regal stamp of approval as it was known as a favorite of the Portuguese Royalty.
This is a must visit for architecture and design lovers visiting Portugal!
As a lesser known wine region, many travelers do not know about the abundance of day trips and activities in the Dão. Taboadella is located about a 30 minute drive from the wonderful city of Viseu. With a beautiful cathedral and an old historic center with winding cobblestone streets dotted with bars and restaurants, this small city is a must visit if you are in the Dão.
For those seeking a less urban experience, Taboadella is located on the outskirts of the Serra da Estrela national park which is the largest protected park in Portugal. Famed for the highest peak in Portugal, this is one of the only places in Portugal you can go skiing or sledding in the winter. In the summer it is perfect for hiking and horseback-riding.
Here are 5 more reasons to visit the Dão wine region and Taboadella on your next trip to Portugal.
1. Explore 40 hectares of Dão with Roman history
Taboadella has 40 hectares to explore inside and out. Taboadella sits on the ruins of an ancient Roman villae (aka “ancient settlement”) referenced on its labels. The megalithic boulder the Romans used to press grapes in the 3rd century still stands on the property! History and wine buffs alike have much to marvel at amongst Taboadella's vines.
2. Their delicious portfolio of wines
Dão is the birthplace of two prized Portuguese grape varieties. Touriga Nacional, Portugal’s most noble red grape, is concentrated and powerful, yet elegantly floral. Encruzado, Portugal’s Queen white grape, is known for its complexity, balance, freshness and age-worthiness. Taboadella’s wines harness the best expression of these grapes and other local varietals, boosting Dão’s reputation amongst wine makers and drinkers around the world!
Taboadella has 8 wines that express the Dão terroir in all its glory. From blended unoaked wines that highlight the character of the terroir, monovarietals that show off the potential of each grape and wines that represent the elements and the hard work of generations in the land, the true authenticity.
3. Experience a blind tasting, opt for a classic tasting or grab a picnic basket!
With a brand new shop and tasting room perched above the vineyard this is a must visit for wine lovers looking to learn more about Portugal's incredible wine diversity. Taboadella offers a wide range of personalized wine tastings and wine related experiences.
Experiences range from the classic wine tastings and vineyard visits to Taboadealla's "winemaker for a day" program, harvest experience, a curated picnic with the local (famous!) delicacies of the region, blind wine tastings and arts and crafts workshops. The possibilities are endless and all activities are customizable.
4. Experience Portuguese architecture and design
The winery’s owners, the Amorim family, are the most important global suppliers of cork - so it only made sense to incorporate this natural product and local pine wood into building their innovative gravity-flow winery.
Designed by Portuguese architect, Carlos Castanhiera, Taboadella is a reference for wine and design lovers alike. The winery is a state-of-the-art building made of natural materials , framed against the forest that surrounds the unique stretch of vineyard in this special terroir.
5. You (and your friends!) can definitely stay
If you’re looking to have the full Dão experience, stay for the night – a great option if you plan to spend a good part of your day tasting wines. Taboadella has a large old-restored stone house on the vineyard that is available to rent. The house has 8 suites and accommodates 20 guests. The house comes with a private chef and is most suited for private groups, events or conferences.
Learn more about Taboadella's tastings and tourism offerings or to order their wines in the US!