Beiras is a VR (Vinho Regional) that spans the central provinces of Beira Alta, Beira Baixa, and Beira Litoral. It is home to a number of prestigious DOCs, including Dão, Bairrada, Beira Interior, Távora-Varosa, and Encostas d'Aire. Wines outside these demarcated areas are labeled VR Beiras.
In general, the climate in Beiras is Continental, hot and dry in the summer with long, cold winters. The landscape varies greatly, stretching from the Atlantic coast to the Spanish border. For example, DOC Dão is recognized as the granite heart of Portugal with the dramatic peaks of the Serra da Estrela. DOC Bairrada, in contrast, includes the lower, hilly croplands that sweep down to the sandy beaches of the Atlantic coast.
Beiras’s long border with Spain means visitors can visit a number of castles and fortresses built over the region’s 900-year history. Mountain villages retain traditional rituals and festivals, making a Beiras a history-lover’s paradise.
Typical Beiras cuisine is hearty and reflects the region’s mountainous terrain and cold winters. It features hare, wild boar, goat, sausage, and the famous DOC Serra da Estrela soft sheep’s cheese.
Beiras produces wines of every style, including red, white, sparkling and fortified. Its dominant red grapes are Touriga Nacional and Alfrocheiro, which create subtle perfumed wines from the Dão, and the late-ripening, astringent Baga which thrives in the clay soils of Bairrada. White grapes include Arinto, Malvasia Fina, Rabo de Ovelha and Síria.