Smooth even in the poorest soil
Some of the best and most expensive wines come from the Dão area, a picturesque spot in Portugal threaded with rivers. Dão is one of the oldest wine cultivation regions in Portugal, and provides ideal climatic conditions for the Encruzado grape. Summers are long and hot, the nights are cool, and winters tough: ideal prerequisites for elegant wines. The area is enclosed and protected on three sides by granite mountains, and the vast majority of vines grow among granitic rock. The white Encruzado, however, thrives in the East of the region in slate soils. Each soil shapes the wine in its own way, but all wines from grapes grown in slate soils have one thing in common: a wonderfully crisp minerality. This provides structure and slightly salty components on the palate.
The barren soils allow only low yields per hectare, from 15 to 30 hectoliters, which further enables the wines to become very rich in body, supple, and accented by fruit. Encruzado is the most-planted white wine variety in Dão, planted on around 200 hectares.