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

Touriga Nacional, a masterpiece of the Portuguese viticulture


Tourigo is a tiny village in Vale de Besteiros near the Criz River, in the midst of a breathtaking beauty. It’s also the name with which the grape growers of Dão have nicknamed centuries ago the red wine caste that everyone knows around the world: Touriga Nacional. It might seem random, but if we take into consideration that Tourigo was also known in the past by Mortágua, a village a few kilometers from the Vale de Besteiros, then it’s too coincidental. This toponymic argument associated with scientific data, mainly from population genetics and genuine historical testimonies such as Antonio Augusto de Aguiar's in 1867, where he recognizes the massive presence of Tourigo in the regional wine varieties. This is enough proof for Dão’s inhabitants to claim the birthplace of the illustrious Touriga Nacional. The oenological merits were already praised in the pre-phylloxera period for the wines "full of colour" and with distinct aroma that this caste originated. However, in the post-phylloxera period its fame decreased, it started to produce a lot of leaves and few grapes.


Only in the last decades it has been realized that the flaw wasn’t of the wine caste but of the American "horses" in which it was grafted to resist the evil insect, which induced great vegetative vigour that lead to its weak or even non-existing grape growth. Until the winemaking problem was solved, the “prince” of Dão’s winemakers - Cardoso Vilhena - deciphered part of the enigma, explored the potentialities of the wine caste and made legendary wines in the "Center of Studies", as those of 1963, 1970, 1975, 1980, 1983... Recovering and extolling the lost status. In the 1990s, with "Quintas do Dão" movement, Touriga Nacional gained a new vitality and its wines began to be spoken beyond borders marking its destiny by intensifying its migration to all the Portuguese wine-growing regions and beginning an adventure throughout Spain, the United States (where it already existed to produce strengthened wines), Australia, Argentina and even France, where recently it was registered in the official list of wine varieties. In all these places Touriga Nacional spread its charm giving rise to varied and excellent wines. Its oenological versatility gives rise to wines of intense aroma, great taste, elegance and sophistication in aging on fresh regions, and powerful, colour and flavour concentrated wines in warm regions.