Tim's Wine Tour Blog

Portugal Tour – to Casa de Mouraz and Boas Quintas in the Dão region


The historic Dao region was our destination on Friday as we headed south of Porto. Dao has a very different feel to the Douro Valley with lots of forest interspersed with vineyards. Various hill ranges give a natural protection from the elements and the region is very much on the up in terms of wine quality. We stopped first at Casa de Mouraz. Portugal Wine Tour Sara Dionisio in full flow at Casa de MourazThis is a small, 12 hectare, organic and biodynamic estate run by husband and wife team – Sara Dionisio and Antonio Ribeiro. We took a lovely walk around a selection of their vineyards getting a deep insight into their philosophy and approach. Sara’s passion for her vines was totally engaging and it transmits into their wines. Portugal Wine Tour Sara Dionisio at Casa Mouraz in wineryWe did a rollercoaster tasting of many wines – field blends, contrasting ages of Encruzado whites, red blends and finishing off with their amazing Elfa. A bewildering array of local indigenous grapes were explored – and accompanied by some delicious local meats and cheese. A truly fabulous occasion.


Portugal Wine Tour Nuno Cancela de Abreu owner of Boas QuintasA quick journey to the town of Mortagua ensued. Here we met Nuno Cancela de Abreu of Boas Quintas. I first came here in 2007 and it is a fascinating story of a family company that has grown rapidly over the past few years culminating in a spanking new winery that opened last September. After a quick tour we headed over to the historic family home where a tasting and lunch beckoned. Portugal Wine Tour In the old cellar at Boas QuintasThe Boas Quintas wines are brilliantly made and reflect the terroir by using the local grapes – particularly the excellent Touriga Nacional and Tinto Roriz (Tempranillo) and whites Arinto and Encruzado. Lunch was amazing. Nuno’s wife Maria laid on a fabulous traditional lunch of pea soup, braised pork cheeks and a rich crème brulee. We sat in their beautiful high ceiling-ed dining room which oozed family history – a real privilege and another truly memorable occasion.