Rías Baixas, Salnés, the cradle of the Albariño.
|Pazo Baión, vineyards|
On the shores of the Atlantic, between the estuaries of Arosa and Pontevedra , extends a fertile territory that has maintained and adapt its centennial winemaking tradition to contemporary tastes. Traditionally land of red wines produced from grapes like Espadeiro , Red Caiño , Loureiro ... however, it has seen its rebirth from the white grape variety Albariño , to produce some of the most popular white wines not only nationally but also international , being critically acclaimed.
Ideal to pair with seafood, in recent years the introduction of new processing methods , such as barrel fermentation or lees makes them very conducive to pair with a wider range of dishes .
The presence of the vineyards on the coast , and its proximity to the sea , gives these wines a salinity which together with its acidity and freshness . The result are very popular wines among the most diverse consumers.
|Pazo Baión, Testing room|
In Salnés, among its arround 40 wineries, there are currently two ways to make wine, one which is more commercial, but preserving quality and aimed at a wider audience, where Martin Codax, flagship of the area, could be a good example; whereas, in another hand, there is a more traditional way of making wine, in which Forjas do Salnes could be a very good example.
The fishing village of Cambados hosts one of the most emblematic and old wineries from the region, Pazo de Fefiñanes, whose palatial architecture well worth a visit. There you can taste interesting white wine from Albariño grape, paying attention to the 1583 fermented on its own lees*. Just 15 minutes it is located Pazo Baión, another palatial example from the architecture of the rural area and surrounded by a stunning setting. Not far away, the winery Mar de Frades show us in a wild environment its modern and futuristic architecture; and giving us at the same time the counterpoint of contemporary design to the Galician rural architecture from the Baroque period. There we can enjoy white wines based on Albariño grape, and as a curiosity its Brut Nature 100 % of the same variety produced through the "Champenoise Method".
|Zarate, barrels in the shed|
Zarate is one of the best representatives of the artisanal trend which we referred before, with a superb selection of both red wines made from traditional varieties (Espadeiro, Caiño, Loureiro ... ) and white Albariño. The winery is settle in a property with pretty much charm, a Manor House which was built in the sixteenth century and completely rebuilt in the XVIII, and without any doubt worth a leisurely visit .
|Pazo Fefiñanes, testing room|
Ribeira Sacra, where Rome produced its Wines.
|River Sil, Vineyards|
The Ribeira Sacra term meaning " sacred shore " , and seems to come from Latin. And at the edge of the two most iconic rivers Galicia , the river Miño and Sil, this region is located between the provinces of Lugo and Ourense. The situation of their terraced vineyards , located on the banks of both rivers , and with slopes of up to 80 % make this land a paradise . A low production , even today you can see how they do new decks to add more soil , and thus cultivate some of the native grape varieties from the region; which in red wine are: Mencia, Brancellao , Merenzao , Sousón , and Caiño Tinto ... For white wine : Godello , Albariño , Loureira , Treixadura , Dona Branca , and Torrontes ...
Not since about 2000 years of history to travel back in time and get an idea of how the Romans cultivated the land to produce wine, especially in the subfield of " Amandi " . (From where it is said that wine was produced for the same Cesar) . In modern times , it is certain that one of their wines , " Peza do Rei " by Cachín Storage ( Ribeiras do Sil ) has been served at dinner given by President of United States, Barack Obama to celebrate the day of the Hispanic (Columbus day) .
|Adega Algueira Restaurant|
From Amandi , on the banks of the river Sil , is one of the most emblematic wineries of the Ribeira Sacra , we refer to Adega Algueira , which also has restaurant, and makes some of the most brilliant and original wines of the Appellation of Origin . We find the Algueira , wine of the year which marries with plenty of food, and we have already discussed in the section on maridaje-food pairing from our blog. Also Algueira Mencía, Mencía Barrel Algueira, Pizarra, or Carballo Galego and others. They reflect the character of the area and the personality of its author Fernando , owner and promoter of the project he manages. Special mention for the Merenzao , which will be discussed in due course. For white wines , white plurievarietal Brandán, or the Escalada (Godello grape ), which stand out for its freshness and balance between fruit and acidity are good examples of the winery Algueira , a place to go. The vintage as before, by hand, bunch by bunch , grape tending the greenest way possible.
|Adegas Moure Vineyards|
We continued our journey to another part of the Ribeira Sacra , this time bathed in the river Miño , in the "Cabo do Mundo " , where we find spectacular views and tastes. Adegas Moure, , also known as Abadia da Cova, , are this time our stop. There we get Mabel , to let us know the winery in an unforgetable visit. She gives us the opportunity to try some of the famous and award-winning wines , like red Mencia year Abadía da Cova with fruit flavors while mineral typical of this grape variety . An easy drinking wine . More elaborate and complex is the Barrica Abadía da Cova. Moure de Autor is one more step in the personal winemaking , where hand harvesting respects , the ecological value of the product, and in short , quality over quantity prevailing. Blank highlight the delicious and fresh Albarino Abadia da Cova , already mentioned in the section on maridaje-food pairing . This winery produces excellent wines as well as spirits, marc cream , coffee liqueur , honey liqueur , but ... the big surprise is undoubtedly the magnificent self made ANA, London Dry Gin, with water from the Alps , one aromatic gin , while dry , it will not disappoint the most discerning palates
Ribeiro, where the Treixadura rules.
There are many varieties of grapes that are part of this land of exceptional beauty: Albariño, Godello, Loureiro, White Caiño, Lado .. if we talk about whites. Mencia, Sousón, Caiño and Brancellao if speaking of red, but certainly the Queen is the Treixadura.
Our wine route takes us on this occasion by Avia river lands, full of vineyards and small wineries, some of which made the wine serving traditional methods and organic farming, and the land surrounding the Minho, the mythical Galician river.
|Aurea Lux Barrels|
There we stop in Esposende, (Cenlle), in the cellars Aurea Lux , small adega (cellar) of organic production where we are received by Magdalene, the sales manager, and apart from showing some of their vineyards, and meticulous winemaking process gives us the opportunity to taste high quality wines: Leive a young treixadura very lively and fruity, Paradigm Leive a "blend" of treixadura, Albariño and Loureiro, "complex, fresh and fruity aromas marked"; Preto Leive, another "blend "but this time red, a wine worth trying, given its Atlantic character, mineral, with its acidity well integrated into the wood, and Relic Leive a" blend "of no less than six native grape varieties, with at least ten months in oak, which gives a wine of great complexity and very like the French Burgundy wines.
Already in the Ribera del Miño, another surprise awaits us, the adega Pazo Casanova , located in Santa Cruz de Arrabaldo, near the city of Ourense. There awaits us Faustino Sotelo, owner of the winery and everything that surrounds it, the two manors, ten hectares of manicured vineyards and integrated into the landscape, forests ... To further magnify the beauty of the place, its slopes present us with magnificent views of the river Miño. After the pleasant visit to their vineyards, where unusual live lovingly godello varieties, treixadura, loureira, and Albariño, takes place the grand tasting where we tasted their wines and spirits.Tried Casanova a white Ribeiro fruit blend of four grapes (Treixadura, Godello, Albariño and Loureira), fruity and complex wine which integrates both ripe fruit with spice and minerals. A wine to discuss their special characteristics. It was followed by Casanova Máxima, a wine that aims to surprise, original from the moment have spent five months in tank on their own lees*, and a brief period of three months in barrel. The final product is unique, and not indifferent because of their complexity; mineral and fruity at the same time, persistent mouth and nose. Finish off testing his homemade liqueurs magnificent coffee, herbs, white ...
Is Ribeiro, an area crisscrossed by rivers, where the vinyards hug the hills and give the landscape a dreamy imprint. A land where History is perceived, and how could it be otherwise, to top off the visit that otherwise would become incomplete, finish off the visit in the capital of Ribeiro, Rivadavia, where in addition we are fortunate to match an event in the Church of Mary Magdalene, "wine tunnel" where we tasted different wines from local wineries.
|Santa Magdalena en Rivadavia|
lees*- Solids (especially yeast residues) accumulated in the bottom of the tanks after fermentation the wine. Ageing on lees aging peculiar system in which the wine evolves together with its lees. http://www.diccionariodelvino.com