Galicia wine region

Galicia
Galicia is the northwest corner of Spain, lying between the northern border of Portugal and the Bay of Biscay.  Cooler and wetter than the rest of Spain, this is largely white wine country.  There are five Galician D.O.s: Rías Baixas, Ribeiro, Ribeira Sacra, Valdeorras and Monterrei.
 
Rías Baixas, on the Atlantic coast, is the largest and best-known.  The fragrant Albariño dominates here, producing bracingly sharp but lushly aromatic whites perfectly matched to the local seafood.  It rains a lot here but the sandy granitic soils drain well and the vines are trained high on pergolas to keep the grapes away from the damp ground and to benefit from the drying winds.
 
Further up the Miño river from Rías Baixas lies Ribeiro, where the dry whites also feature Albariño but are usually blends with Treixadura (the main grape here), Loureiro, Torrontés and Godello.
 
Further inland still, the breathtakingly steep terraced vineyards of Ribeira Sacra produce potentially the best reds of the region, mainly from Mencía, as well as fine Godello whites.  Mencía also features in Monterrei, the smallest and warmest DO, located in the southeast corner of Galicia where it gets warm enough to ripen Tempranillo.
 
Valdeorras is the easternmost and highest region.  This is the heartland of the Godello grape, which suits the slatey soils particularly well.  Younger unoaked examples resemble Chablis, while late-picked oak-aged versions are Spain’s answer to white Burgundy, and Albariño’s only real rival as Spain’s best white.

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