D.O. Monterrei

The Monterrei Valley is often only considered for the cultivation of cereals, fruit trees and other horticultural products, but the Valley is today one of the most dynamic regions in terms of wine production. The transformation and improvement of viticulture and the installation of wineries such as Terra de Gargalo (owned by Roberto Verino), Pazos del Rey, Quinta do Muradella, Lobazán and Valdevellos, among others, have contributed to increased production of quality wines within designation of origin, which are becoming ever more present in the main Spanish markets.

Winemaking was introduced to the region by the ancient Romans, whose influence is confirmed by the number of presses and vessels that have been dug up in the region. Following this, the regions more modern history dates back to the era of the feudal lords, where Monterrei was an ecclesiastical and palatial fortress, where a pilgrim hospital was also found. Castillo Monterrei, which is Galician for the Spanish term Monterrey (la montaña del rey, mountain of the king), is an ancient fortress that still stands at the top of the hill and watches over the vineyards, extending north to south, on the path that links Madrid to Galicia. This fortress represented the regional authority of controlling the prices and quality of the wines produced in the monastery lands and by different feudal lords. Since the late ninth century, religious orders expanded the cultivation of vineyards throughout the region, and wine was used as a tribute to the monasteries and feudal lords.


During the middle of the last century, Monterrei was producing large quantities of good quality wine, home to large wineries with stone presses and large oak vats. In the early 1960`s, the Cooperative Winery of Monterrei was founded with the aim of promoting winemaking and trading within the region, but towards the end of the twentieth century, the closure of the cooperative winery, emigration due to economic hardship, and the abandonment of the land due to poor returns nearly resulted to the disappearance of viticulture, vineyards and winemaking in the region.


DO Monterrei first obtained DO (Denominación de Origen) in the seventies, but was later suspended until growers and processors managed to restore the region in 1996. It was in the nineties when the region made real strides and experienced real progress in cultivation and wine production.


DO Monterrei is located in the northwest of Spain, bordering Portugal. Monterrei lies in the region of Galicia, in the municipalities of the southeastern part of the province of Ourense. The region has two distinct areas: Valley of Monterrei, characterised by high temperatures and later ripening times, and Ladera de Monterrei, which by its altitude has milder temperatures and earlier maturation dates. The vineyards lie on the slopes of the valleys around the Tamega River, southwest of the Galician province of Ourense, at altitudes varying between 400 and 450 meters. In the DO Monterrei, there are currently just over 530 hectares of authorised vineyards, about 445 growers and 25 wineries. 


Climate, soil and varieties


The DO Monterreiis situated in the Duoro River basin,although most of the vines are planted in the river valleys along the River Tamega, a tributary that eventually flows into the Duoro. The region is home to a mild Mediterranean climate with a continental tendency influenced by the Atlantic Ocean. Its summers are hot and dry while winters are cold. The region experiences considerable temperature fluctuations, with temperatures as reaching 30 degrees during the ripening season.

The DO Monterrei is home to slate and schist soils, which are ideal during drought periods and help provide flavors in red wines. There are also granite and sand soils coming from the degradation of granitic rocks with low pH, suitable for white wines, and vineyards with clay soils are also found in the valleys of the tributaries of Tarrega.


Many grape varieties are authorised in the region. In terms of white varieties, Godello dominates, accounting for over 70% of cultivated white varieties. This is followed by Treixadura, which accounts for 24%. Other white grape varieties grown in the region include Dona Branca, Albariño, White Monterrei, Caíño White and Loureira.

As for the red varieties, Mencía dominates, accounting for over 82% of production. Tempranillo (Arauxa) represents 15% of the red varieties. Other red varieties include Merenzao, Caíño Tinto and Sousón. Many continue to cultivate their vineyards using low bush vines, but many of the new plantations have introduced vines that are trellis-trained following the bilateral cordon method,facilitating tilling and harvesting. 


Wines and Wineries


Although the region is home to over 13,000 hectares of vineyards, only 530 are registered under the DO Monterrei. This is due to many Galician wineries that although are officially based in DO Rías Baixes, also operate and produce Monterrei wines. Examples of this include Bodegas Valmiñor and their wine Minus (100% Godello); and Martin Codax and their wine Mara Martin (also 100% Godello).


Another exemplary winery is Pazos del Rey, in Albarellos, which is home to 25 hectares of vineyards, which are mainly situated on the slopes of the valley. The winery mainly cultivates Godello and Mencía grapes, giving way to their monovarietales under the labels Pazo de Monterrey Godello blanco, Tierras de Verín Blanco, Sila Godello Blanco y Sila Tinto.


Another winery to mention is Quinta da Muradella in Muradella. The winery owns around 14 hectares of vineyards located on slopes on granite, quartz and sand soils with a great diversity of native varieties. The vineyards are organically cultivated, so at no point are chemicals such as fertilizers, herbicides or disease treatments used, but rather natural processes to conserve all the characteristics of the earth and environment. Wines produced by this winery include Alanda Branco and Tinto, Gorbia Blanco and Tinto, Sábrego Blanco Ecológico and Quinta da Muradella Blanco and tinto.


Next there is the Bodega Gargalo in Pazos, the winery owned by Roerto Verino in Verin, and since the mid 1990’s has offered a wide range of wines that are a symbol of the perfect combination tradition, technology and strong raw materials. Wines are kept to limited production, including labels such as: Gargalo Godello, Gargalo Treixadura-Albariño, Mencia Gargalo, Terra do Gargalo Branco sobre lías, Terra do Gargalo Tinto Carballo, Viña Verino Branco, and Terras Rubias Blanco and Tinto.


Bodegas Bernabe Jimenez, located in the village of Verin, produces wines with grapes from their own vineyards, which sells under the brand Grand Berbabé. Their Gran Bernabé Blanco is characterized by a pale yellow colour. It is a wine with a fresh aroma, pleasantly herbaceous and fruity, with true varietal character. On the palate this wine is flavourful, expressive, and with good balance and acidity. Gran Bernabé tinto is one of the most remarkable Mencía wines to come from the area, with a strong cherry garnet colour, it has a pleasant, fruity aroma with some very personal Herbaceous leave. The palate is fruity with vegetal notes and is light and agile. 

Outstanding wines from the D.O. Monterrei:

  • Sila Mencía 2014

    Red wine Barrel. Volume: 75 cl. Winery: Pazos del Rey. Production area: Monterrei. Grapes used in this wine: Mencía.

    9,05 VAT incl.
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    8,60 €/u
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    Sila Mencía 2014

    Red wine Barrel. Volume: 75 cl. Winery: Pazos del Rey. Production area: Monterrei. Grapes used in this wine: Mencía.

    9,05 VAT incl.
    6x
    8,60 €/u
    Online only
  • Alanda Blanco 2015

    White wine Young. Volume: 75 cl. Winery: Quinta da Muradella. Production area: Monterrei. Grapes used in this wine: Treixadura and Doña Blanca and Godello and Mostruosa.

    14,30 VAT incl.
    6x
    13,55 €/u
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    Alanda Blanco 2015

    White wine Young. Volume: 75 cl. Winery: Quinta da Muradella. Production area: Monterrei. Grapes used in this wine: Treixadura and Doña Blanca and Godello and Mostruosa.

    14,30 VAT incl.
    6x
    13,55 €/u
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  • Fraga do Corvo 2014

    White wine Barrel. 7 months on lees in stainless steel vats. Volume: 75 cl. Winery: Grandes Pagos Gallegos. Production area: Monterrei. Grapes used in this wine: Godello.

    9,95 VAT incl.
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    9,45 €/u
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    Fraga do Corvo 2014

    White wine Barrel. 7 months on lees in stainless steel vats. Volume: 75 cl. Winery: Grandes Pagos Gallegos. Production area: Monterrei. Grapes used in this wine: Godello.

    9,95 VAT incl.
    6x
    9,45 €/u
    Online only
  • Pazo de Monterrey 2014

    White wine Young. Volume: 75 cl. Winery: Pazos del Rey. Production area: Monterrei. Grapes used in this wine: Godello.

    7,50 VAT incl.
    6x
    7,15 €/u
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    Pazo de Monterrey 2014

    White wine Young. Volume: 75 cl. Winery: Pazos del Rey. Production area: Monterrei. Grapes used in this wine: Godello.

    7,50 VAT incl.
    6x
    7,15 €/u
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  • Mara Martín 2015

    White wine Young. Volume: 75 cl. Winery: Martín Códax. Production area: Monterrei. Grapes used in this wine: Godello.

    7,20 VAT incl.
    6x
    6,80 €/u
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    Mara Martín 2015

    White wine Young. Volume: 75 cl. Winery: Martín Códax. Production area: Monterrei. Grapes used in this wine: Godello.

    7,20 VAT incl.
    6x
    6,80 €/u
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  • Minius 2013

    White wine Young. Volume: 75 cl. Winery: Adegas Valmiñor. Production area: Monterrei. Grapes used in this wine: Godello.

    7,75 VAT incl.
    6x
    7,40 €/u
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    Minius 2013

    White wine Young. Volume: 75 cl. Winery: Adegas Valmiñor. Production area: Monterrei. Grapes used in this wine: Godello.

    7,75 VAT incl.
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    7,40 €/u
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  • Gorvia Blanco 2011

    White wine Reserva. 8 months in French oak barrels. Volume: 75 cl. Winery: Quinta da Muradella. Production area: Monterrei. Grapes used in this wine: Doña Blanca.

    • Parker 92
    27,95 VAT incl.
    6x
    26,50 €/u
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    Gorvia Blanco 2011

    White wine Reserva. 8 months in French oak barrels. Volume: 75 cl. Winery: Quinta da Muradella. Production area: Monterrei. Grapes used in this wine: Doña Blanca.

    • Parker: 92
    27,95 VAT incl.
    6x
    26,50 €/u
  • Alanda Tinto 2012

    Red wine Crianza. 13 months in French oak barrels. Volume: 75 cl. Winery: Quinta da Muradella. Production area: Monterrei. Grapes used in this wine: Mencía and Bastardo and Tinto Fino.

    • Parker 91
    16,25 VAT incl.
    6x
    15,45 €/u
    Out of stock!
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    Alanda Tinto 2012

    Red wine Crianza. 13 months in French oak barrels. Volume: 75 cl. Winery: Quinta da Muradella. Production area: Monterrei. Grapes used in this wine: Mencía and Bastardo and Tinto Fino.

    • Parker: 91
    16,25 VAT incl.
    6x
    15,45 €/u
    Out of stock!
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