This is a small, remote, mountainous region in the north of the VR Beiras, bordering on the Douro to the north, and the Dão region to the south. The climate is continental, with extremes of temperature, and vines grow at 500 to 800 metres above sea level on granite or schist soils. At this altitude, the grapes retain good acidity and fruit, and are perfect for production sparkling wines – indeed this was the first region in Portugal to be demarcated for sparkling wines, in 1989. Malvasia Fina accounts for about half of older vineyards, along with Bical, Cerceal, Fernão Pires and Gouveio, while major reds are Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca and Touriga Nacional. For nearly a century, Távora-Varosa has also had significant plantings of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir (two of the major grapes of the Champagne region of France) and more is being planted. With an admiring eye on the success of the Douro producers to the north, Távora-Varosa producers have also been planting more of the top Portuguese red grapes, such as Touriga Franca, which ripen less well in these conditions, however.