Galicia is known for its wines, and although most people know the Rías Baixas D.O. (Denominación de Origen, the quality wine region there are other four DOs which well deserve to be known.
Ribeira Sacra is certainly one of the most stunning to visit: the vineyards grow on steep terraced slopes, making planting, tending and harvesting a daunting work. No visit to one of the local bodegas is complete without a detailed recounting of how long it took them to plant the vines or recollect the grapes.
Because of the geographical situation, you can imagine that the production is not very large. Also, the grapes are typically grown by many independent small producers then sold to few wineries: the official facts say there are 2.817 vine growers for just 90 wineries!
It’s a small production area, with little more than 3 million liters of wine every year – compare it to the over 251 millions produced in Rioja…
The wines are mostly reds – with some white production – and the most used grape variety is Mencía, which I particularly enjoy. It’s usually very fresh and fruity and… well, simply enjoyable!
Last September we visited Adega Vía Romana with a group of Australian tourists as part of a food & wine tour in Lugo. We’ll visit again this September, and take the chance to explore more of the region.
Just this week, Victoria Moore ran a piece on The Telegraph about Ribeira Sacra – here’s the link: Want red wine that’s fresh and light? Try Ribeira Sacra.
If you’re curious and want to venture around the Ribeira Sacra yourself, the Ruta del Vino web page might be of help. Also, there’s a Viñobus (Wine bus) in August and September that takes you around different wineries, with 3 or 4 tastings every day. I wasn’t able to find information in English so I hope you’re proficient in Spanish…