1st Lesson Galicia and its wines: Harvest season
Some of you may be on holidays all over Spain, others may have friends among us and yet a few lucky ones, may be planning their vacations out of the peak season maybe on September or October. No matter when or why you are in Spain, you could learn about our language and culture having the whole country as your classroom. Just choose any interest of yours and find everything about it here. No doubts there will be likeminded Spaniards who will be more than pleased to help you learn while travelling.
Allow us to do our bit, by providing some tips for those visiting the Northwest of Spain. On this article we have chosen: Galicia and its wines, as the ideal learning experience for wine connoisseur.
Galicia is a Paradise for wine appreciation
This summer an article from the newspaper Telegraph has already praised our high-quality wine:
If you are a wine connoisseur, you may have already be acquainted with the Abariño Wine and its clean and dry ripe fruit flavours. For those travelling around the Northwest, the possibility of participating on wine tasting tours at the Albariño Wine festival (August 1st to 6th, 10 € per day) in Cambados, known as the Capital of Albariño Wine, may have left them prepared for this year’s European Wine Festival 2017 in the same village (August 7th to 14th). http://www.cambados.es/eportal/portal/index.php?id_seccion=16
While trying some wines and chatting on different stalls on the open market, you shouldn’t miss a visit to the Pazo de Fefiñanes to understand how the Galician Manor houses (Pazos) have been a key factor to boost the economy of the region from the Medieval Ages. Nowadays, the family owners of this Manor House, are still very much engaged on local production and in enhancing the health benefits of some of them such as funghi and mushrooms. You can find these gourmet local products in the store where the Manor wines and own preserves may also be purchased.
If the seashore has infused the grapes of Alvariño Wine its distinctive palate, and the Manor Houses have become the core of its origins and production, the slopes of the River Sil have being the birth place of the cherished Riveira Sacra Wines.
Riberira Sacra Wine
Galicia as other European shores, suffered the sea raids of Vikings and the invasions of other Northern European tribes which became more intense during the 9th Century. Monks and Christian Communities seeking for protection from those menaces, found refuge on the green and lush slopes of the Sil banks. It was in these Monasteries where the first wine cellars began. The vineyards within the steepness of the hills, the warm sunlight, unpolluted air and mild rains, created these distinctive flavoured wines.
The small production of these vineyards and the uniqueness of the brew, make these wines very much appreciated among the more exquisite local quality wine searchers.
Hills, ancient monasteries, stone carved hermitage caves and charming chapels, need a careful and watchful eye to be spotted among the dense forests and dramatic landscape. There are boats touring the river Sil, stopping at different places were visitor can feel enveloped by the silent beauty of these magical landscapes. Visitors may combine hiking, wine tasting and Art sightseeing while learning about the local culture. There are 18 monasteries open to visitors including Saint Stevo, now turned into a Parador.
Protected Designation of Origin (P.D.O) and Ribeiro wine
There are five P.D.O. Wines in Galicia and each one enhanced by its natural surroundings, history, gastronomy and culture. Since this article just offers an overview of two of them, allow us to at least mention the rest of these exquisite wines:
- Ribeiro Wine became granted with a protected status in 1575 (Ordenanzas de Ribadavia) and it was already well-known all over Europe on the IX Century. Since 1932 was granted with P.D.O.
- Valdeorras received the P.D.O. recognition on 1977.
- Rias Baixas: 1988.
- Monterrei: 1996.
- Ribeira Sacra: 1996.
Each variety owes its characteristics, not only to the different soils, sunlight, and proximity to the sea or river, but also to the variety of grapes used and the expertise of the winemaker. The experience of wine tasting in Galicia is so closely linked to the traditional culture and history of each region and has developed so many different leisure activities, that every visitor will enjoy these wine trips as holistic experiences.
For further information: http://rutasdovino.xunta.gal/en/
Information about wine tasting trips at Harvest Season; http://escueladelenguasvivas.es/en/english-experiences/
Article about Northern Spain from The Guardian, Thursday 17 August 2017:
Article written by: