The great challenge of producing wine for the first time
Before the wine in the Dão region
Wine in the Dão region
Dão's wine varieties
The wine at Dão's wine in the manor houses of the region


Malvasia-Fina, a historical vine variety of Dão


All the wine-growing zones in Europe, since classical antiquity, surrendered and continue to surrender to the charms of Malvasia, whose origin, though obscure, must be the Middle East. The history of its arrival in our country is unknown and probably it’ll always be impossible to know, but we can admit that it must have been the Romans who brought it to the western end of the Peninsula, just as they spread it throughout other territories of the empire. However, we can’t exclude the assumption of having been brought centuries before by Greeks or Phoenicians as some authors suggest. The Chronicle of the Conquest of Ceuta describes the great celebrations that D. Henrique prepared in Viseu in 1414, months before his departure to Ceuta. Even Gomes Eanes de Azurara extolled Dão's Malvasia: (…) vieram alli piparotes de malvazia, com muytos outros vinhos, brancos e vermelhos, da terra de todallas partes honde os avia milhores” (great quantities of wine barrels of malvasia and many other white and red wines were brought from all the regions where they were considered the best). Also Herrera (1515) in Spain and Ruy Fernandes (1532) in Portugal refer to it, being likely to have a good distribution in both countries in the 16th century.


However, it isn’t possible to ensure that this wine variety is Dão’s current Malvasia-Fina, where it is also known as Assario Branco and Arinto do Dão. Of the 13 malvasia varieties known in Portugal, Fina is undoubtedly the dominant and most appreciated. Fina predominates in the centre and north of Portugal and also in Madeira where it is known as Boal. It’s a very versatile oenological wine variety, giving excellent liqueurs in warm regions like Douro and beautiful sparkling wine and table white wine in cool regions such as Távora-Varosa and Dão. These wines are very fragrant, with low acidity levels and should be consumed while young. In the Dão region it’s often mixed with Encruzado or Cerceal-Branco originating the famous white wines of the region which are characterized by its elegance, freshness and longevity. Given its aromatic profile it doesn’t improve by being fermented in barrels.