Commissão Vitivínicola Bairrada (Official site, Portuguese)
DO Bairrada lies west of the better-known Dão region, cooled by Atlantic breezes and populated by the distinctive baga vine, an ancient, indigenous and defiantly thick-skinned grape variety.
Bairrada is an area of agricultural smallholdings, growing cereals and beans as well as vines on heavy, fertile clay soils. Winemaking in the region is dominated by cooperatives, though an increasing number of small independent producers also operate. Bairrada is unusual in that one grape dominates, almost to the exclusion of other varieties: over 80% of Bairrada’s production is red wine, mostly made from the Baga grape, which is native to the region. Baga needs careful handling, as it can be quite aggressive. White grapes are mostly maria gomes (known as Fernão Pires elsewhere in Portugal) and Bical, largely grown to produce sparkling wines.