Bical, Cerceal, Chardonnay, Gouveio-Real, Malvasia Fina
Tinta da Barca, Tinta Barroca, Touriga Francesa and Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Pinot Noir
The first Portuguese sparkling wine region
It is in the unique region of Távora-Varosa, which inspired the Cistercian monks and was the birthplace of the writer Aquilino Ribeiro and the mathematician and first Rector of the University of Porto, Francisco Gomes Teixeira, that sparkling wines and wines of exceptional quality are produced. Romans, Suevi, and Visigoths crossed this region, and it was chosen by the Cistercian Monks to build some of the finest examples of Cistercian architecture, such as the Monastery of São João de Tarouca, the first on the Iberian Peninsula, built in the 12th century.
The production of sparkling and still wines by the monks of Cistercians goes back to the 17th Century (1678) and in 1989 it became the first Portuguese wine region to be demarcated for the production of sparkling wine with the Denomination of Origin Távora-Varosa.
The vineyard area, with about 2,184 hectares, covers the municipalities of Lamego, Tarouca, Moimenta da Beira, Armamar, Tabuaço, São João da Pesqueira, Sernancelhe and Penedono. The territories where the vines are located are between 500 and 800 metres above sea level, with a climate of strong continental influence, with hot summers and harsh winters. Its unique conditions, of acidic soils, predominantly granite, with clay and poor in limestone, sometimes schist, make this region privileged in the production of sparkling and still wines of great quality.
In Cistercian lands, there are magnificent landscapes, an unknown historical architecture and festivals and pilgrimages where you can taste some of the region’s gastronomic specialities.
In Varosa, where the Cistercian monks chose to build their temples several centuries ago, some of the most important treasures and jewels of national heritage can still be appreciated today. The route encompasses a diverse range of cultural and historical experiences.
Along the way, visit the farms, wineries and cellars that showcase the light and smooth white and red wines. In the cellars, discover the rémuage and dégorgement à la volée of Távora-Varosa sparkling wines.
In Lamego, the Sé Cathedral stands out, where Marian cult was instituted in 1175, as does the staircase of the Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, with 686 steps that, once conquered, reveal a magnificent view of the city.
In Tarouca, the Monastery of São João de Tarouca, classified as a National Monument, keeps alive the dynamic spirit of the monks who soon moulded the region to their image, working the land, cultivating the vines, instilling norms and traditions that have lasted to the present day.
Further south, in Serra da Lapa, we find one of the oldest Portuguese sanctuaries, the Capela da Senhora da Lapa, built in the 17th century by the Jesuits, and the Monastery of Nossa Senhora da Assunção de Tabosa, belonging to the nuns of the Order of Cistercians.
In the far end of the region, visit the Castle of Penedono, where Álvaro Gonçalves Coutinho, one of the Twelve of England, known as Magriço, was born. He was involved in the independence struggles and was immortalised by the poet Camões in the “Lusíadas”.
In the transition zone to the Douro region, you can visit the churches of Armamar (12th century) and São Cosmado (17th century), where the tomb of the teacher and illustrious mathematician Francisco Gomes Teixeira is located.
Discover the experiences that Távora-Varosa region has to offer
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