Dão RED Wines
Dão is a Portuguese wine region situated in the região demarcada do Dão, located in the north center region of Portugal in the sub region of Dão-Lafões. Dão wine is produced in a mountainous soil, with a temperate climate , crossed by Rio Mondego and Dão River. The wine region is located primary on the plateau, sheltered by granite mountain ranges of serra da estrela, serra caramulo and serra da nave, and has a climate away from the Atlantic Ocean, but with abundant rainfall in the winter months and long warm dry summers. The Dão wine has several varieties of indigeneous grapes, with the majority of wine production being made from the Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Jaen Alfrocheiro Preto, and Encruzado. The Dão region produces 80% red wine, where 20% of the production is Touriga Nacional. The red wines from Dão Region tend to be very tannic due to the prolong periods of winemaking, but the style has been improved to prevail fruit-forward with smoother tannins, and white wines more fresh, fruity and fragant. The red wine production involves picking the grapes by hand or machine, destemming and crushing, involving the mixture of individual berries, whole bunches, stems, and leaves, originating the must. The must is pumped to a vessel, or a tank made of stainless steel, or an oak vat, for fermentation. With the purpose to prevent oxidation, it is added Sulphur Dioxide when the grapes arrive at the winery, and some winemakers prefer to chill the must to around 10°C (50°F), to allow a period of pre-fermentation maceration ("cold soaking"), of between one and four days. The inoculation and fermentation process to start the alcoholic fermentation, in which sugars present in the must are converted into alcohol with carbon dioxide and heat as by-products. After this process, occurs the separation of solid and liquid phases, where skins float to the surface, forming a cap. Fermentation produces heat and it needs to be controlled by different refrigeration systems to prowl the temperature of 25-28°C; 77-82.4°F. The density and temperature of the fermentation is checked once or twice per day, with the objective to be proportional to the sugar content, falling each day as the sugar is converted into alcohol. A second microbiological transformation commonly takes place after the alcoholic fermentation of red wines, and the red wine is usually racked (decanted) off its lees (dead yeast cells and other solids). Most red wine is aged in stainless-steel or concrete tanks, or in small or large oak barrels for some period before bottling, though this can vary from a few days, up to 18 months or more. Finally the red wine pass through undergo fining, which is designed to clarify the wine and sometimes to correct faults such as excess tannin, and then are filtered to eliminate any remaining yeast cells and bacteria, and then bottled.