Travel Guide to Terras de Císter Wine Region

The Terras de Cister wine region of Portugal is one of the country’s largest and most extensive wine regions. The Terras de Cister region is a remote and mountainous area that borders both the Douro and Dão wine region. Although geographically this is a small wine region, Terras de Cister plays a large role in the Portuguese winemaking industry. Terras de Cister is the center of the production of sparkling wine in Portugal. It was in fact the first DOC in Portugal that was certified for the production of Portuguese sparkling wines. Visit Terras de Cister to experience the first Portuguese DOC especially for the production of excellent and enjoyable sparkling wines.

Read more about Wineries in Terras de Císter to visit.

Find out about Wine Tasting & Tours in Terras de Císter to enjoy if you visit the region.

Follow our travel guide to discover the little corner of sparkling wines in Portugal. You will learn more about:

Terras de Císter wine region and wines

Places to visit in Terras de Císter

The natural beauty of the region

Fresh and Tasty products

The castle of Penedono in the Terras de CIster region
The castle of Penedono in the Terras de Cister wine region, Portugal

Wines of Terras de Cister

The wines of the Terras de Cister are easy to enjoy thanks to their beautiful aromas, citrus character, and natural levels of acidity. Terras de Cister wines are perfect alone or when paired with meals. A true treat for all wine lovers.

Pefect Bubbles from the Mountains of Portugal

The Terras de Cister wine region is situated in the foothills of the Serra da Nave mountains and the fist vineyards here were planted by Cistercian monks. The location in between mountains creates a cooler climate than one in Duoro, which makes it harder to ripen the grapes. Thus, the cooler climate and south-facing vineyards in this wine region favor the production of elegant and acid sparkling wines. That’s why the Terras de Cister wine region is considered to be the heart and soul of Portuguese sparkling wines. The region mainly produces dry(brut) sparkling wines from red and white grape varieties with persistent and fine bubbles.

Something Else?

The Terras de Cister wine region also produces red and white wines. The Terras de Cister white wines are known for their particular bright yellow and green color. These wines are aromatic and fruity. The most notable flavors in these white wines are of tropical fruits such as pears, pineapples, and bananas. There are also hints of Chinese fruits such as litchees. These flavors are finished off by subtle tastes of herbs and roses. Terras de Cister local white wines have a very well balance level of acidity and are wonderful for easy drinking.

The red wines of the region display a bright red color and a lush flavor filled with red grapes, herbs, grapefruit, and oak. Terras de Cister rose wines have a light pink color. These wines can be described as crisp and sweet.

Grape Varieties

Red Varieties: Pinot Noir, Aragonez, Tinta Barroca, Touriga Franca Touriga Nacional

White Varieties: Malvasia Fina, Chardonnay, Pinot Branco, Cerceal, Gouveio, Bical, Femao Pires

Places to visit in Terras de Cister

Lamego – Baroque Beauty at Its Best

The town of Lamego is located on the slopes of the Douro Valley. The entire town is watched over by an ornate and beautiful shrine that was built in the Baroque style. Lamego is characterized by its two imposing hills. On one of these hills is the 13th-century castle that provides extraordinary views. The most famous site to visit in Lamego is the Porta dos Figos. The Porta dos Figos is a gateway in the form of an arch that leads one to the narrow streets of the Lamego inner town. For many, the most beautiful building in Lamego is the Our Lady of Remedies Church and its two bell towers. Visitors to Lamego can spend time browsing these beautiful historical sites or attending one of the many events that Lamego has become famous for.

Lamego city, Portugal
Cinfaes – A True Gift From Nature

The town of Cinfaes is located on the banks of the Douro River in the north of Portugal. This riverside town is home to two magnificent natural sites – the Oaiva River and the Montemuro Mountain. Cinfaes is not only naturally beautiful but also holds great cultural and historical significance. The historical links of the town are evident in the Romanesque bridge of Covelas, and the Romanesque church in Tarouquela. When visiting Cinfaes be sure to visit the Carrapatelo Dan, take a boat along the river, trek through the Montemuro mountains, and enjoy the fabulous local cuisine.

Hidden Gem – The village on the Varosa Riverbanks

When visiting the Terras de Cister be sure to take a detour and visit the village of Ucanha. The most famous site in Ucanha is the Ucanha Tower and Bridge. This incredible medieval bridge crosses the Varosa river. It is one of the most perfect examples of Gothic architecture in Portugal. A trip to Ucanha provides the perfect opportunity to stroll along the picturesque riverbanks and explore the historical village.

Medieval bridge of Ucanha, Portugal

The Magic of the Terras de Cister Mountains and Forests

The Terras de Cister is home to extraordinary natural beauty. This beauty is thanks to the region’s location at the foot of the Serra de Nave mountain range. This wine region is home to natural extremes from mountain peaks to plateaus and meandering rivers – the perfect playground for wine and nature lovers.

Parque Biologico da Serra de Meada

The Biological Park of Lamego

The Parque Biologico da Serra de Meada can be found in the town of Lamego. This biological park is located in the Serra das Meadas mountain range. The altitude of the park is 1000m and it covers 50 hectares of land. Previously this land was the nursery for the Portuguese Directorates of Forests. Visiting the Parque Biologico da Serra de Meada provides the perfect opportunity to learn about the natural environment of the area. Visitors to the park can spend time in the environmental education center and see a range of local animals.

Calcada de Cinco Rodas – The Hidden Paradise of Cinfaes

The Calcada de Cinco Rodas is located in the town of Cinfaes. This park is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the area. It is a place of natural waterfalls where visitors can swim in the crystal-clear waters. Calcada de Cinco Rodas is considered by locals to be their secret paradise. The waterfalls are only accessible by foot, but reaching the beautiful waters is worth the short walk.

The Fresh and Tasty Foods of Terras de Cister

The Terras de Cister wine region showcases the best of Portuguese cuisine. This region is famous for its aromatic, fresh, earthy and delicious food. For those who love food there are a range of food experiences in Terras de Cister. The best of these is by far the home-cooked hearty meals that warm the soul. Terras de Cister provides a wonderful experience for all food and wine lovers.

Maca Bravo de Esmolfe – The Esmolfe Apple

Maca Bravo de Esmolfe is also known as the Esmolfe Apple. This apple is well known for having an extraordinarily long shelf life. The apple also has a very strong and unique smell. Esmolfe apples can be identified by their white peel with some red spots. The apples are most often eaten raw as a dessert. As a result of their intense fragrance, they are also used to provide a sweet smell in the local homes of Terras de Cister.

Castanha dos Soutos da Lapa – Lapa Chestnuts

Castanha dos Soutos da Lapa directly translates to Lapa Chestnuts. These chestnuts are grown exclusively in northern Portugal. In history, they were used as currency in the local trade. Lala chestnuts are reddish-brown in color, with dark stripes across the rind. The flavor of the nuts can be described as sweet. Because of this sweetness, they are regularly used in the production of syrups and jams. The locals of Terras de Cister serve the Lapa Chestnuts boiled or roasted, and also include them in a number of delicious dishes. For those with a sweet tooth, be sure to try chestnut mousse desserts.

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Region Highlights

Surface: 3000
Soil: Granite and schist
Climate: Temperate and dry continental
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Map of Wineries in Terras de Císter wine region

Discover the long wine tradition of Terras de Císter and discover some of the best wineries in this region

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List of Wineries in Terras de Císter wine region

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