Quinta dos Carvalhais | Dão
Quinta dos Carvalhais is located in the Terras de Senhorim sub-region, in the heart of the Dão. The 105-hectare estate, with 50 hectares under vine, was purchased by the Guedes family in 1988. They invested a huge amount into improvements in both the vineyards and the winery – and are credited with spearheading the quality renaissance of wines from the Dão in the early ‘90s. Following decades of state control and a co-operative monopoly in the region that favoured quantity over quality, they replanted the region’s indigenous grape varieties, such as Touriga Nacional and Encruzado, and saved them from near extinction.
Precision viticulture is carried out on the estate, with each vineyard plot matched to a specific grape variety. There is a predominance of indigenous varieties, including Touriga Nacional, Alfrocheiro, Encruzado and Gouveio, and the vineyards are situated at an altitude of 465 to 500 metres above sea level. Warm days followed by cool nights here result in wines with lovely depth yet vibrant fruit, while the granite soils also lend elegance to the wines. Beatriz Cabral de Almeida is at the winemaking helm and makes an impressive range of wines from the estate vineyards. The modern, gravity-flow winery is adapted to facilitate vinification of the individual vineyard plots, with numerous small stainless steel fermentation tanks.