Spain is an amazing place with a rich history and long traditions of making fantastic wine. If you’re a wine lover, then we’d recommend a visit to Galicia, in particular Rias Baixas in north western Spain.
Rias Baixas has some amazing wineries and you can really immerse yourself in Galician culture. With this in mind, we thought we would share our favourite things about this amazing wine region. This is our guide to Rias Baixas wine.
WHAT/WHERE IS RIAS BAIXAS DO?
Rias Baixas DO is a Denominacion de Origen, based predominantly in the commarca/county of Pontevedra, which is in Galicia. Just like Catalunya and the Basque region have their own identities, people from Galicia identify themselves as being Galician. The Rias Baixas region gets its name from the four estuaries that run through the region, as the Spanish word ‘ria’ directly translates to estuary in English.
RIAS BAIXAS WINE STYLES
Galicia has various grapes varieties grown for wine production, but it is most famous for producing Albariño, especially in the Rias Baixas wine region. Albariño is a thick skinned, white grape which produces very aromatic, highly acidic and refreshing white wine. We recently posted a complete guide to Albariño which you can read here
Other grapes permitted to be grown in Rias Baixas wine region include:
Red production is very minimal and Albariño makes up 90% of Rias Baixas wine production.
HOW TO GET TO RIAS BAIXAS FROM THE UK?
If you’re based in the UK then it is very easy to get there. There’s four airports in the region, the main one being Santiago de Compostela, which is about an hour’s drive from the main Rias Baixas city of Pontevedra. EasyJet and Ryanair both offer direct flights from London which cost between £200-£280* for a return trip. Check sites such as Google Flights, Sky Scanner and Hopper for the best prices.
If you’re wanting to go on a bit of a road trip on your visit to Galicia in search of Rias Baixas wine, then there are daily flights to Porto airport, Portugal for circa £200* return. Porto is just under a two hour drive to Pontevedra, so we would recommend spending a couple of nights in Portugal, before driving up to Rias Baixas, you could even stop off in the Minho province and try some Vinho Verde.
WHERE TO STAY IN RIAS BAIXAS DO
There’s plenty of areas to stay all over the region and we would recommend the city of Pontevedra as the main hub for your trip. Pontevedra is home to four of the five sub-zones (the other being in A Coruna) and is under an hour’s drive from the airport. The city of Pontevedra is well placed and is a short drive further to various wineries, or just a short drive out of town to the coast.
Here’s a list of places to stay in Pontevedra, depending on your budget:
- Under £50 per night and quirky – Noche en un Velero (Night in a boat)
- £50-£100 per night – Hotel Alda Estacion (situated in the old medieval town)
- Over £100 per night – Parador de Pontevedra (classic and classy, see picture below)
TOP WINE PRODUCERS IN RIAS BAIXAS DO
The first producer that we want to showcase in our guide to Rias Baixas wine is Camino de Cabras.
Founded in 2013 by couple Marina and Santiago, their goal is to create the best Galician wines with the best grapes that their Atlantic corner of the Iberian Peninsula gives them. They have vineyards in both Valdeorras and Rias Baixas and we love all their wines.
Savage Vines stock both their Mencia and Albariño, which are both excellent. The Albariño is crisp, elegant and fresh. A dry, aromatic white wine packed with flavours of white peach, apricot, melon, pineapple, mango and honeysuckle.
Their humble headquarters is just a 45 minute drive south of Pontevedra and if you’re serious about good wine then we’d recommend that you send them an email to check availability for a tasting in their cellar!
Can’t wait until your visit to Galicia to try their wines? You can buy a bottle of their Albariño for as little as £11.25 here
Named in homage to Martin Codax, the medieval troubadour; Bodegas Martin Codax is a fantastic Galician winery that has been producing world class Rias Baixas wine since 1983. They have vineyards all over Galicia, however the winery is based just outside of Pontevedra city centre.
You can sit and relax in the patio while looking out at the view and enjoying a glass of Rias Baixas wine. We would recommend their ‘Burgans‘, a beautiful single varietal Albariño.
Thinking of visiting Bodegas Martin Codax? Well they offer a wide range of tours. Click here to have a look at their various packages
Last but not least in our guide to Rias Baixas wine is Bodegas Vionta. This is a fantastic winery, which has amazing grounds. We’ve included them in our guide because they make a fantastic Albariño. It’s only a 25 minute drive from Pontevedra city centre, so very easy to get to.
Vionta is owned by the Freixenet group, one of the biggest wine producers in Spain. With this in mind, we think it’s important to showcase the fantastic quality of big producers like Vionta, as well as our friends at small, family owned wineries like Camino de Cabras.
Vionta have a dedication to the earth and strive to get the best out of the terroir from their various vineyards in Rias Baixas. In return, their Albariño shows off brilliant and intense aromas of apple and kiwi, fresh yet balanced acidity and a fantastic, lengthy finish.
THANKS FOR READING OUR GUIDE TO RIAS BAIXAS WINE!
Well, that was our guide to Rias Baixas wine. It is a great region, perfect for wine holidays, so don’t waste anytime and visit Galicia soon!
If you’d simply just like to learn about wine from the comfort of your own home, be sure to check out our online blog and sign up to our mailing list. We’re always looking to teach people about different regions, grape varieties and producers. Beyond that, you can expect to find a whole host of playlists, cocktail cards and recipe cards packed full of wine pairing ideas. There might even be some special offers along the way so make sure that you don’t miss out!
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