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Rias Baixas

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

  • Condado do Tea (County of Tea): The area, named after the River Tea (a tributary of the Miño), is the second largest with around 550 hectares of vineyards on granite and slate soils. It is located near the border with Portugal near 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 of granite and alluvial soils along the Miño River.
  • Ribeira do Ulla: The area covers around 50 hectares of vineyards on mainly alluvial soils. It is located south of the famous pilgrimage site or destination of the Santiago de Compostela Way of St. James. Red wines in particular grow here.
  • Soutomaior: The smallest area with 20 hectares of vineyards on sandy soils over granite bedrock is on the Verdugo river near Pontevedra. Only Albariño is grown here.
  • Val do Salnés: The largest area with 1,500 hectares of vines on granite, rock and alluvial soils is considered the origin of the Albariño grape. It lies on the lower reaches of the Umia River 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 around 2,500 hectares of vineyards. For the most part fresh, tangy, dry white wines are produced, which are among the best in Spain. Incidentally, they were already exported to all of Europe in the 16th century. They mostly become one malolactic fermentation subjected.

The white wines must have at least 70% Albariño ( Alvarinho ), and max. 30% Caíño Blanco, Loureira ( Loureiro ), Torrontés ( Fernão Pires ) or Treixadura ( Trajadura ) contain. The red wines are made 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, Lagar 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.

Left picture: Rías Baixas
Right picture: Ruta do Viño Rías Baixas

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