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Rías Baixas

DO area (Spanish Rías Bajas) in the province of Pontevedra in the southwest of the northwestern Spanish region Galicia on the Atlantic coast on the border with Portugal, The name means "lower bays" and is the name of four narrow, deep inland bays that emerged from flooded valleys of the Ría de Muros y Noia, Ría de Arousa, Ría de Pontevedra and Ría de Vigo. There are five sub-zones, all dominated by the white grape Albariño ( Alvarinho ), which occupies 95% of the vineyards:

  • Condado do Tea (county of Tea): named after the River Tea (a tributary of the Miño), this gregarious area is the second largest with approximately 550 hectares of vineyards on granite and slate soils. It is located near the border with Portugal in the city of Ponteareas.
  • O Rosal: The area is located near the coast south of the city of Vigo. The terraced Vineyards cover over 300 hectares on granite and alluvial soils along the Miño River.
  • Ribeira do Ulla: The area covers about 50 hectares of vineyards mainly on alluvial soils. It is located south of the famous pilgrimage site or destination of the Santiago de Compostela Way. Here grow mainly red wines.
  • Soutomaior: The smallest with 20 hectares of vineyards on sandy soils over granite bedrock lies on the river Verdugo near Pontevedra. Here only Albariño is grown.
  • Val do Salnés: With its 1,500 hectares of vineyards on granite, rock and alluvial soils largest area is considered the origin of the Albariño grape. It is located on the lower reaches of the river Umia near the coast north of Pontevedra. It is the coldest and wettest area.

Rías Baixas - Map and Condado do Tea Vineyards

Caused by the Atlantic winds there are Rainfall of up to 1,300 millimeters annually (three times as high as in Rioja ). The damp and cool climate favors the emergence of fungal diseases, The vineyards cover a total of about 2,500 hectares of vineyards. For the most part fresh, sparkling, dry white wines are produced, which are among the best in Spain. Incidentally, they were already exported to the whole of Europe in the 16th century. They are usually one malolactic fermentation subjected.

The whites must have at least 70% albariño ( Alvarinho ), as well as max. 30% Caíño Blanco, Loureira ( Loureiro ), Torrontés ( Fernão Pires ) or Treixadura ( Trajadura ) contain. The red wines are from Brancellao ( Alvarelhão ), Caíño Tinto ( Borraçal ), Espadeiro ( Camaraou Noir ), Loureira Tinta or Sousón ( Vinhão ) and Mencia vinified.

Well-known producers are Adegas Castrobrey, Adegas Galegas, Adegas Tollodouro, Adegas Valmiñor, Agnusdei, Agro de Bazán, Albariño Santiago Roma, As Laxas, Benito Santos, Couto, Castro Martín, Comercial Oula, Coto de Xiabre, Fillaboa, Lagar de Besada, Lagel de Fornelos, Lusco Do Miño, Martínez Serantes, Pablo Padín, Palacio de Fefiñanes, Pazo de Barrantes, Pazo Pondal, Pazo San Mauro, Pazo de Señorans, Terras Gauda and Valdamor.

Picture left: Rías Baixas
Picture right: Ruta do Viño Rías Baixas

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