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


Jaen, wandering throughout Santiago


Its name suggests a Spanish origin, which was confirmed when Portuguese ampelographers found it in 1994 in northwestern Spain, on the border between Castile-Leon and Galicia, where it was named Mencía or Tinta Mencía and held the status of the most noble wine varieties of Bierzo. In the Dão region it has been cultivated since at least the middle of the 19th century and was mentioned in the wine surveys of 1865 as the dominant wine caste in the region of Mangualde. The way it has reached the heart of Dão’s region should remain forever anonymous in our history, although it is possible to admit that it was brought by pilgrims returning to their homeland through Santiago. This was, in the past, a way of making the European wine castes recognized. After the phylloxeric crisis its expansion in the region was wide due to the generosity of its productions, precocity, which allows it to reach excellent alcoholic levels, and colour intensity that gives the wines a beautiful garnet colour. But it also has some problems, which make it a controversial wine caste.


Undoubtedly, the hardest thing is its adaptation to areas that are too humid and fertile, where, despite producing too much, easily rots and produces low-grade, acidic, colourless and sometimes “scratchy” wines that sabotage other wines they are mixed with. When it grows on proper soil, the main merit of the wine caste is to produce wines that are ready to be consumed young as it happens with several Alentejo wines. Although slightly rustic given its poor acidity levels, the “character” of its aroma and especially its softness in the mouth make these wines excellent companions for daily meals. Although it is no longer preferred in the new plantations, it’s dispersed throughout the region, particularly in Mangualde, Nelas and Gouveia.