Spain - Galicia - Rías Baixas DO

6 important questions on Spain - Galicia - Rías Baixas DO

What is the biggest producer in Rías Baixas, how many growers?

Martin Códax, 300 growers (in total there are 5500 growers on 4000ha)

Describe the growing environment of Rías Baixas and the challenges it has

  • North west of Spain, just above Portugal
  • Along the Atlantic ocean
  • Has a maritime climate, moderated by the ocean
  • High annual rainfall - fungal diseases are a risk
  • Soil sand over granite: very good drainage for so much rain

What is the most famous grape variety for Rías Baixas, and what are the characteristics. Can it be blended? With what?

  • Alvarinho - 95% planted; mostly monocepage.
  • Thick skin, protects against rot, can become fully ripe.
  • High acidity, medium body, medium alcohol
  • Apple, lemon, grapefruit, melon and peach (sometimes floral)
  • blends with: Loureiro (floral and herbal), Treixadura (low acidity), Caino Blanco

Rías Baixas has 5 subzones; which are these and what are the differences in style of wines?

  1. Val do Salnés; oldest, biggest plantings, directly on the coast; coolest  and wettest
  2. O Rosal; along Minho, border of Portugal; often blends.  Warmer; lower acidity
  3. Condado do Tea; inland, even warmer; peach fruit, lower acidity
  4. Ribeira do Ulla; new, inexpensive wines
  5. Soutomaior; smallest

What is the trellising system in Galicia, Rías Baixas? What are the benefits?

  • Pergola = Parral
  • Crops underneath
  • Good air circulation, reducing diseases
  • slightly cooler

How are the mid-priced to expensive wines vilified in Rías Baixas?

  • Mid-priced, one or two years on the lees, not stirred; light creaminess
  • More expensive; in large old oak or portion of new oak.

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