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Details for Alvaro Castro, Outeiro, Dão

Touriga Nacional
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Mencía / Jaen
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Tempranillo / Tinta Roriz
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Alvaro Castro
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Named for the river that runs through it, Dão occupies the high plateau of the Beira Alta.  It lies to the south of the Douro (home of port) but is cooler and less arid, thanks to its altitude and to the mountain ranges that surround it on three sides.  These isolate it from the extreme continental climate of the Iberian interior and catch reasonable rainfall.
That rain is largely confined to the winter months, however. Summers are dry, with hot days and cool nights.  Along with the sandy granitic soils, these conditions preserve fresh acidity in the wines.  If the Douro is Portugal’s Bordeaux or Northern Rhône, Dão is its Burgundy.
Despite that, its wines are still overwhelmingly red.  Only 20% of the production is white, based on the local Encruzado grape.

Alvaro Castro

Alvaro Castro is regarded as one of the giants of Portuguese winemaking, and the best producer in his native region, Dão.  While he makes fiercely-traditional Dão reds and whites, he’s also noted as an innovative, experimental winemaker, collaborating with other producers on multi-region blends.  Chief among these are the DODA (Douro-Dão) reds he makes with his close friend Dirk Niepoort.
Alvaro trained as a civil engineer, but turned his attentions to wine when he inherited the family estate, Quinta de Pellada, in 1980.  His home and winery are at a smaller estate, Quinta da Saes, while he restores the long-abandoned manor house at the remote and rugged Pellada.
He shares winemaking duties with his daughter Maria, who has worked alongside him since completing her Biotechnology degree in 2000.
His most recent acquisition is the Outeiro vineyard, which used to be part of the Quinta de Passarela and provided the fruit for his PAPE (Passarela-Pellada) collaboration with Passarela’s Manuel Santos Lima.

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