- It’s Spain but not as we know it….
This is GREEN SPAIN!! This is not the Spain of common perception – the busy beaches stretching lazily along the Med, the tiny white villages (‘pueblos blancos’) clinging to the mountains in the scorching south. Here we are up in the far north west of Spain, slightly cut off from the rest of the country due to its natural borders. The Atlantic Ocean crashes on the empty beaches with all its might and the mist-shrouded, pine-clad mountains harbour many a folkloric legend. Here you can feast on a cornucopia of fresh seafood hauled out of the ocean and straight on to your plate, washed down, of course, with a delicious glass of silken, citrussy, sea-salt fresh Albariño.
The rainfall and the green and rocky landscape are more akin to Ireland than other
parts of Spain and this abundance of water creates the verdant landscape, which is where the term ‘Green Spain’ comes from.
- GRANITE is everywhere, this cool, dark rock plays its part in various ways. Many of the buildings (including wineries) are created from granite which provides a cool place of retreat in the hot sun. The vineyard posts (‘parras’) from which the vines are strung are often made from granite which absorbs the excess heat during the day. Granite provides a solid bedrock underneath the vineyards and imparts a delightful minerally taste to the wines.
- GRAPES: Albariño is king here, representing 95% of all grapes grown in the region.
Rías Baixas, often described as the definitive ‘heartland’ of Albariño, has the perfect growing conditions for its native grape variety, showing Albariño off at its absolute best.
- GROWERS: The landscape in Rías Baixas is dotted with a myriad of tiny vineyard plots, tumbling down to the ocean, creeping up the mountainside and lining the valleys, like a veritable patchwork quilt. Many of the pocket handkerchief-sized plots have been tended assiduously by generations of the same family.
- GALICIA: Rías Baixas is situated in the autonomous region of Galicia. Here, as well as standard ‘Castilian’ Spanish, ‘Galego’ is actively spoken and nurtured. There are strong Celtic links in Galicia too with the bagpipes (‘gaita’) being a traditional instrument that is still played today. Galicia and its capital Santiago de Compostela are also well-known as the magnificent culmination of the famous ‘Camino’ pilgrimage.
Find out more about this incredible region and its wines at riasbaixaswines.com