Rías Baixas: The Land of Albariño

Article by Kristine Mansuy


Located in the North-West of Spain, in the region of Galicia, Rías Baixas D.O
(Denominación de Origen) is a pretty recent appellation in the world of wine. Officially recognized in the 1980’s, the D.O represents today an average of 4000 ha of vines divided in more than 20 000 plots of vines. Yes, that is correct! Typically, in Galicia, the parcels are extremely small and are
owned by many small growers. Wine growing can be very complex but it is
a great challenge for making unique wines that reflects very specific micro climates.Albariño is the most planted grape varieties and was first introduced in the Salnès Valley by the French Cluny Monks in the 12th century. It’s cultivation then spread to the rest of Galicia and to the north of Portugal.

The challenging local climate, along with centuries of viticultural experience,
make Albariño wine from the Rías Baixas a unique wine with a distinctive
Atlantic character that can’t be found anywhere else in the world !



The Climate

Unlike the rest of Spain, Galicia is cool, rainy and green. Vines are mostly
trained in the traditional pergola, allowing for maximum sunshine, while
keeping the vines away from the humidity of the soil.The vines are located
at an altitude between 10m and 50m on mostly granite and sandy soils.The influence of the Atlantic Ocean allows the wines to express greatminerality with a hint of saltiness.

Albariño from this part of the world,
expresses exotic fruit, citrus, floral notes and tangy acidity. Some wine
lovers would say it has similarities with some Chablis or older Rieslings from
Germany. Albariño plantations are growing significatively in other parts of
the world such as New Zealand, Uruguay and North America, making it one
of the most prominent indigenous grape varieties in the world.


The Wines

Rías Baixas D.O is divided in 5 sub-regions:
Val do Salnés, Condado do Tea, O Rosal, Soutomaior and Ribeiro do Ulla.
Discover some of the leading wineries of the 3 main appellations.


Salnés Valley

Near the town of Cambados, Val do Salnés is considered as the birthplace
of Albariño. It represents over 60% of the annual Rías Baixas grape
production. The area is generally moist, cool and windy. The coastal
location on granitic soils gives wines a lot of fruity character, aromas of
citrus, sharp acidity and salinity.

Pazo de Señorans

Pazo Señorans is a family-owned world-renowned producer focusing on
low-yield Albariño wines. Based on an historical site of a rural 14th century manor, the estate is around 55 hectares of vines divided in over 300
different plots. Surrounded by beautiful gardens and architectural monuments, the winery is a dream location for private venues such as
weddings, anniversary parties and corporate events. Their wines are a
benchmark of well-balanced, elegant and age worthy Albariños from Rías
Baixas. Don’t miss their delicious Aguardiente spirits, it’s absolutely divine!

Pazo Señorans, Albariño, 2019 

Floral, herbal and mineral nose. Saline acidity, clean and dry palate.
Very classic and elegant Albariño. Enjoy it with a fresh seafood platter!

Pazo Señorans, Albariño, Colección, 2017 

Rich and smoky nose of exotic fruits (peach and mango). Round on the palate with a delicate chalky texture. Hints of floral, citrus and grapefruit aromas.

Pazo Señorans, Albariño, Selección de Añada, 2012 

Smoky and mineral nose with delicate aromas of candied apples.
Complexity and richness on the palate, with a lot of smoky minerality and a long lingering finish.



Attis Bodega

Attis Bodega is the project of two brothers, Robustiano and Baldomero
Fariña, along with French winemaker Jean François Hebrard. Their vision is
to elaborate different wines from single varietals, from a specific
winemaking method or a specific vineyard, reflecting all aromas and
nuances of their Atlantic terroir. From skin contact whites to barrel and
amphora aging Albariños, they also cultivate various indigenous grapes
including red varietals such as Sousón, Pedral and Caïno Tinto.
Beyond all limitations, Attis wines are audacious, with a lot of personality,
expressing a more bold and masculine side of the Albariño grape.

Rías Baixas, Albariño, Lias Finas, 2020 

Beautiful aromatic, herbaceous and floral nose.
Powerful and creamy mouthfeel with stone fruit aromas and a touch of
bitterness on the finish. Good aging potential. Open the bottle a few hours
before serving.

Rías Baixas, Albariño, Embaixador, 2018 

Exotic nose of mandarin, cooked apples and hints of smoky minerality.
(Bee’s wax). Powerful, bold and rich on the palate with a delicate and salty
finish. Good aging potential.
Open the bottle a few hours before serving.

Condado Valley

Located in the southern part of Galicia, next to the Portugal border and the Miño River, Condado do Tea is the second largest sub-appellation.
The soils are a mix of granite and slate and as it is further from the coast,
the wines tend to have less acidity with more herbal and floral aromas.
Along with Albariño we can find Treixadura and Loureiro grapes in the white blends.


Señorío de Rubiós

Señorío Rubiós was founded in 2003 by 100 shareholders with one main
purpose: To recover and maintain the precious wine legacy of the Condado
region. They are committed to red indigenous grapes such as Sousón and
Pedral as well as cultivating the classic white varietals of the area.

Their wines are a great balance of modernity and tradition showcasing the
diversity of Condado’s micro-climates. Señorio de Rubios is also an
enotourism destination as they have a 4-star hotel, spa and restaurant on
site with a 3 hectares organic farm. Everything you need for a relaxing get away in a beautiful natural environment.

Condado do Tea, Blanco Brut Nature, Vino Espumoso de Calidade 

A unique sparkling wine with a blend of Albariño, Godello, Torrontes
Loureira and Treixadura. 9 months on the lies. Elegant floral nose with hints
of brioche and grilled nuts. The bubbles are creamy and lively with a lot of
yellow stone-fruits and floral notes on the mid-palate.

Rías Baixas, Albariño, Coupage Premium, 2020 

Herbaceous, floral and mineral nose with aromas of white pears and green
apples. Dry on the palate with a fresh acidity and a saline clean finish.

Manuel d’Amaro, Pedral, 2015 

Interesting delicate nose of dried flowers, dark chocolate and licorice.
Fresh on the attack with a vibrant acidity. The mouthfeel is round and silky
with a delicious minerality on the finish.


Bodegas Marqués de Vizhoja

Established in 1968 by Mr. Mariano Peláez, Bodegas Marqués de Vizhoja is
now run by his two sons, Javier and Jorger Peláez. They are continuing the
work of their father who has been a great defender of the region’s native grapes heritage and engaged the evolution of the local industry.

Dedicationand tradition are at the heart of their winemaking philosophy.
Made from 100% white varietals such as Albariño, Treixadura and Loureira,
the wines are a pure expression of the coastal sandy-granitic terroir of Condado, with a great balance of freshness and acidity. Every year, they receive an important number of people to visit the beautiful historical estate of “La Moreira,” a 16th century manor house. A must see!

Marqués de Vizhoja, 2021 

Fresh and mineral nose of citrus and green apples.
Mouth watering acidity with a round mouthfeel and herbaceous flavors.
An excellent wine for aperitif!

Rías Baixas, Torre La Morena, Albariño, 2020 

Very mineral and fruity on the nose with a touch of saline notes.
Fruity and fresh with a great balance and vibrant acidity.

Rías Baixas, Señor da Folla Verde, 2020 

A blend of Albariño, Treixadura and Loureira.
Aromatic nose of pineapple and cooked fruits. Beautiful saline and smoky
mouthfeel with a touch of bitterness. A great gastronomic wine!

Rosal Valley

Located on the south coast of the city of Vigo, O Rosal is the hottest
appellation of the Rías Baixas. The vineyards are mostly planted on terraces
facing the Atlantic Ocean with a south exposure. The soils are a mix of
alluvial, granite and slate, giving wines that are fuller bodied with an
intense aromatic profile.


Terras Gauda

Terras Gauda was founded in 1989 by the Fonseca Family and is considered
to be one of Rías Baixas most emblematic winery. With an average of 160
hectares, they only produce white wines made from estate-grown fruit.
The winery has been a leader in the development of the appellation as well
as sustainable practices. They are dedicated to quality and to preserving
the native grape varieties of Galicia. Winemaker, Emilio Rodríguez Canas,
has been part of the adventure for more than 25 years. His wines are well
structured and precise, full of character and a great aging potential.

Rías Baixas, Abadia De San Campio, Albariño, 2020 

Very elegant nose with aromas of mango and citrus zest.
Juicy on the palate with an explosion of tropical fruits.
Fresh and well balanced.

Rías Baixas, Terras Gauda, (Black Label), 2019 

A blend of Albariño, Caíño Blanco and Loureiro. Fermented in oak cask.
Smoky nose with aromas of grilled nuts and mineral undertones.
Creamy mouthfeel with intense fruity flavors. A palate pleaser!

Rías Baixas, La Mar, 2019 

A blend of Caíño Blanco (95%) Albariño and Loureiro.
Aromatic nose of vanilla, honey and apricot. Fresh palate with a subtle
tannic structure and a long mineral finish. A very elegant wine.


Altos de Torona

The winery is located over the slopes of Mount Galeno, occupying a single
plot of 95 hectares, which makes it the largest Rías Baixas vineyard. The
estate is mainly planted with Albariño, Caíño Blanco, Godello and Loureiro.
The winemaker, Pablo Ibanez Simon, is from a third-generation family
winemaker and a master in viticulture. Owned by the HGA Bodegas y Viñedos de Altura group, Altos de Torona was born in 2003 to market high-altitude wines from the best wine-growing areas of Galicia, extending to the regions of O Rosal, O Salnés and in the Ribeira Sacra.

Rías Baixas, Albariño, 2020

Very mineral and saline nose with a touch of pears and herbaceous notes.
Fresh and dry palate with aromas of green apples and a grassy texture on
the finish.

Rías Baixas, Albariño, Pazo de Villarei, 2020

Floral, mineral and herbaceous on the nose. Mouth-watering acidity on the
palate with a vibrant, dry and clean finish. Very classic Albariño.

Rías Baixas, Rosal, 2020, 

A blend of Albarino, Caíño and Loureiro.
Wet rocks on the nose with beautiful stone fruit aromas.
Full-bodied, fruity and elegant palate with a delicious saline aftertaste.



Galicia, also referred to as “Green Spain” is a fertile and abundant land with
an amazing biodiversity. You can find the traditional Galician Tapas in many
restaurants in the historic town of Pontevedra, such as Bar Estrella or
Tintanegra in the cute little fisherman’s village of Combarro.

This part of Spain is a seafood paradise, and the best way to discover its
gastronomy is to drive around the coast and visit all the small villages of the
rías (low rivers). In the fall, enjoy the seafood festival in O Grove and fine dining in at Beiramar or d’Berto. Go for a walk on the beach in the famous village of Sanxenxo and eat delicious food at Restaurante Sabino.

For a more urban experience, the city of Vigo offers a great diversity of restaurants from hip wine bars to the classic tabernas. Try Casa Samaniego for a great selection of international wines and fresh local products.

Looking for the ultimate culinary experience? What about a cooking class at the Quinta de San Amaro Hotel ? This boutique hotel in the heart of the Salnés Valley offers private cooking classes with renowned local chef, Rocío Garrido. Learn the art of Galician cooking and discover Rías Baixa’s best kept culinary secrets. Nature, tradition and gastronomy, the fascinating wine route of the Rías Baixas is an adventure in the mystical green hills of Galicia. From north to south through beautiful landscape of vineyards, white sand beaches and valleys, smell the Atlantic breeze and enjoy a glass of delicious Albariño,
“The wine of the sea”.



7 April 2022 |