Albariño, the heart of Rias Baixas

Albariño, the heart of Rias Baixas

One of the most interesting characteristics about the Albariño grape is the way it is grown. The vines are trained on a trellis system so that they are high off the ground. The area is on the Atlantic coast, which makes for a soggy and wet climate. This trellis system protects the grapes from rot.

Albariño is a wonderful, refreshing wine that pairs well with seafood. It is a wine with very clear characteristics. We find the wine very similar in style to a dry Riesling.  It has characteristics of lemon and lime, along with balanced acidity. Some think it has a subtle effervescence.

In the Rias Baixas region, Albariño is the main varietal grape. 90% of the vineyard acres in the Rias Baixas wine region are Albariño grapes. Albariño has become a very popular wine in the United States and can easily be found at all fine wine shops within the range of $10 to $20. The wine is fermented and aged in stainless steel and the wine is usually released within one year.
When visiting this northern area of Spain, asking for a glass of Albariño will make you look like a local. Order a snack of pulpo (octopus) or Padrone peppers. Sit out in the sun people watching. Sip and swirl your glass of Albariño and enjoy life at its best.

This photo shows the common trellis system used in Albariño vineyards. Because the area of Rias Baixas is on the coast, fog and moisture are daily occurrences. The trellis system allows the grapes to dry from the ocean breezes. None of the Albariño grapes touch the ground

Some recommended wineries are Pazo Baion, Martin Codax, Mar de Frades, Pazo Quinteiro da Cruz, Valmiñor and Lagar de Pintos.  Pick a wine and pair it with the delicious local seafood. Salud!