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Galicia: land of wines
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Galicia: land of wines

Galicia, located in the north-west of Spain, is a land of wonderful wines. The damp climate and a good work in the vineyard gave birth to some wines that are now known and appreciated: first of all, the famous Albariño grape variety produced by the same name. They are aromatic wines of great finesse, fresh and deliciously palatable to accompany the specialties of local cuisine based on fish and seafood. In Galicia exist  the following designations of origin, mainly situated in the south: § § Monterrei Ribeira Sacra Ribeiro § § Rías Baixas Valdeorras

 D.O. Monterrei

This designation extends along the valley of the River Tamega as far as Portugal, with an extension of a bit less than 700 hectares, which hugs the municipalities of Castrelo del Valle, Monterrey, and Oímbra Verín. The vineyards are planted mainly on the slopes of the surrounding mountains. The deep and fertile soil, made up of silicates from the upper areas, together with the characteristics of the Mediterranean climate, unusually dry and hot summers in Galicia, is an appropriate cause that allows the vineyard to offer high quality products. The vineyard is made up of native varieties: Dona Blanca, Godello, Treixadura (white grapes) and Mencia, Bastardo, Arauxo (red grapes). You get red and white wine, fresh, lively and with fruity bouquet.

D.O. Ribeira Sacra

In the southern provinces of Lugo and north of Orense, accompanying the Sil until its union with the Miño and from there, back to the course of this river to the vicinity of Portomarin, are a series of successive small wine producing areas, constituting the Denomination of Origin "Ribeira Sacra", which has the recognition of DO 1996.  From the path of the river Sil, we find the towns of Quiroga, Amanda, and Ribera del Miño Chantada Lugo and Ribera del Sil Orense. The vineyard occupies the steep coast (Ribeiras) of rivers, where land is cultivated in small extensions. This is the only wine region of Galicia dominated by the production of red wines.The most famous local wines are red Mencia, including  the popular Amandi ( the legend says it was exported to Rome for the Caesars), garnet in color, intense flavor and bouquet of blackberries and raspberries. Light in the mouth, fresh and lively.

 D.O. Ribeiro

In the  west area  of the province of Orense, on the banks of rivers Avia,  Arnoia and Miño, we find the DOC Ribeiro. The historic and wine capital of this area is Ribadavia, an ancient city surrounded by over 3100 hectares of vineyards, situated in the valleys of the mentioned rivers. These wines are less aristocratic than the "Rías Baixas", better known as "Albariño", and combine better with the popular Galician cuisine. People usually drink "cuncas" (cups) of pottery. They’re elegant wines, fresh, light, very aromatic and very pleasing to the palate, very light to drink. The red wines are a deep red color and a high acidity.

D.O. Rias Baixas

This designation of origin and heritage of a long tradition of wines of special features, high quality and high regard in the markets and imported within the country. Three famous wine regions of Galicia integrate the production area of ​​the Rias Baixas DO: El Valle del Salnés on left slope of the river Arosa, the County of Tea along the slope of the right of the Miño, and El Rosal in the lower valley of the Miño (Baixo Miño). The influence of the Atlantic climate, temperate in all seasons, with abundant rainfall,  together with long exposure to sun and adequate fertilization allow for the ripening of the vineyard. Among the white varieties that are grown, the Albariño grape, whose wine is considered among the best in the world,  stands out. It is a fruity wine full of sensation and very persistent in the mouth and with a powerful bouquet.  Other white grape varieties (Treixadura, Loureiro, Torrontes), are used along with Albariño for the elaboration of other wines.  Red wines, less frequnt, developed with Cain, Espadeiro, show a high potential as young wines.

 D.O.Valdeorras

This Protected Designation of Origin occupies part of the valleys of the rivers Sil and Jares, northeast of the province of Orense. The municipalities of El Barco, La Rua, Petina, Villamartin El Bollo are the main vineyard areas . This area enjoys a less humid climate than the rest of Galicia, giving origin to conditions suitable for the cultivation of quality vineyards. They are also planted along the slopes of the mountains, as it happens with the grapes mentioned before.  The most prestigious among the white grapes is the Godello, which produces white wines with a fruity bouquet; In addition to this, we find the Mencía variety, which produces red wines with an intense and elegant bouquet, very much in line with the current international tastes. Palomino and white and red Garnacha ,Blanca Dona Tintorera, Gran Negro and Merenzao are also cultivated.

                                                                                                                                       Marta Rodríguez