Red wine Barrel. Winery: Coto de Gomariz. D.O. Ribeiro. (Galicia) Variety: Mencía, Souson, Brancellao and Ferrol.
White wine Barrel Biodinámico. 9 months in French oak barrels 500 L. Winery: Bernardo Estevéz. D.O. Ribeiro. (Galicia) Variety: Loureira Blanca, Godello, Lado, Treixadura, Other White varieties and Albillo.
White wine Biodynamic. Winery: Cume do Avia. D.O. Ribeiro. (Galicia) Variety: Albariño, Caíño Blanco, Loureira Blanca and Lado.
Red wine Barrel. Winery: Cume do Avia. D.O. Ribeiro. (Galicia) Variety: Brancellao, Souson and Caíño Tinto.
White wine Barrel Respectful agriculture. Winery: Coto de Gomariz. D.O. Ribeiro. (Galicia) Variety: Albariño, Treixadura, Other White varieties, Loureira Blanca, Godello and Lado.
White wine Young Respectful agriculture. Winery: Coto de Gomariz. D.O. Ribeiro. (Galicia) Variety: Treixadura
White wine Barrel Biodynamic. 6 months in French, Allier oak barrels. Winery: Viña Meín · Emilio Rojo. D.O. Ribeiro. (Galicia) Variety: Albariño, Treixadura, Loureira Blanca and Lado.
Red wine Young Respectful agriculture. Winery: Adega Antonio Cajide. D.O. Ribeiro. (Galicia) Variety: Brancellao, Souson, Caíño Tinto and Other red varieties.
White wine Young. Winery: Ramón do Casar. D.O. Ribeiro. (Galicia) Variety: Albariño, Godello and Treixadura.
White wine Barrel. Winery: Finca Viñoa. D.O. Ribeiro. (Galicia) Variety: Albariño, Godello, Treixadura and Loureiro.
White wine Young. Winery: Adega Manuel Formigo. D.O. Ribeiro. (Galicia) Variety: Torrontés, Godello and Treixadura.
White wine Young Respectful agriculture. Winery: Viña Meín · Emilio Rojo. D.O. Ribeiro. (Galicia) Variety: Albariño, Loureira Blanca, Godello, Torrontés, Treixadura and Lado.
Red wine Young. Winery: Adega Manuel Formigo. D.O. Ribeiro. (Galicia) Variety: Garnacha Tinta, Caíño Tinto, Brancellao and Souson.
White wine Barrel Respectful agriculture. 6 months on lees in the barrel. Winery: Adega Antonio Cajide. D.O. Ribeiro. (Galicia) Variety: Albariño, Godello, Treixadura and Lado.
White wine Aged on its lees. 6 months on lees in stainless steel vats. Winery: Bodegas y Viñedos Pazo Casanova. D.O. Ribeiro. (Galicia) Variety: Albariño, Godello, Treixadura and Loureiro.
White wine Aged in amphorae Biodinámico. 7 months in amphoras. Winery: Fazenda Agricola Augalevada. D.O. Ribeiro. (Galicia) Variety: Albariño, Treixadura, Lado, Loureira Blanca and Godello.
White wine Young Respectful agriculture. Winery: Adega Antonio Cajide. D.O. Ribeiro. (Galicia) Variety: Albariño, Treixadura, Godello, Torrontés, Caíño Blanco and Lado.
Red wine Barrel Respectful agriculture. 11 months in separate containers. Winery: Viña Meín · Emilio Rojo. D.O. Ribeiro. (Galicia) Variety: Brancellao, Souson and Caíño Tinto.
White wine Young. Winery: Maetierra. D.O. Ribeiro. (Galicia) Variety: Treixadura
White wine Young Respectful agriculture. Winery: Coto de Gomariz. D.O. Ribeiro. (Galicia) Variety: Albariño and Treixadura.
White wine Aged on its lees Respectful agriculture. 12 months in different kind of barrels. Winery: Dominio do Bibei. D.O. Ribeiro. (Galicia) Variety: Treixadura
White wine Young. Winery: Coto de Gomariz. D.O. Ribeiro. (Galicia) Variety: Albariño, Godello, Treixadura and Loureiro.
White wine Young Respectful agriculture. 4 months in French oak barrels. Winery: Adega Antonio Cajide. D.O. Ribeiro. (Galicia) Variety: Albariño, Loureira Blanca, Caíño Blanco, Lado, Torrontés, Treixadura and Godello.
Red wine Barrel. 6 months in French oak barrels used. Winery: Luís Anxo Rodríguez Vázquez. D.O. Ribeiro. (Galicia) Variety: Brancellao, Ferrol and Caíño Tinto.
There is evidence that the romans first produced wine in Ribeiro, but modern history tells us that it was also the first area in Galicia to produce wines with their own identity. In the thirteenth century, Alfonso X referred to the wines here as the “buenos vinos de Orense” (the good wines of Orense).
Between the 10th and 13th centuries vine cultivation spread across Galicia, thanks to the work of the monks in the orders of San Benito and San Bernardo. Here the Ribeiro estates of Santa María de San Clodio were founded and, further south, the vineyards of Salnés, which belonged to the Santa María de Armenteira monastery.
With good reason, Galicia was the destination of one of the most important cultural routes of the Middle Ages, the Camino de Santiago (St James’ Way). El Camino de Santiago, a symbol of the Christian Resistance against Islamic Imperialist expansion, created close ties of communication between Galicia and European medieval kingdoms. The English Crusaders stopped in Galicia to stock up on wine and enjoy the last Christian food (pork, ham, sausages), before continuing their journey to the Mediterranean by the Iberian Coast under Muslim rule.
The influence of monastic wine culture in Galicia (as opposed to what happened in other regions of Spain, under Islamic occupation), meant that development in the region followed a parallel evolution to that occurring in the great vineyards of Central Europe. Even the most popular saints of European vineyards aroused great devotion in Galicia, such as San Martín, patron of Orense, to whom the first wines of the year are still devoted.
Monks in the region created a school of viticulture, given that the land donated to the monasteries was not profitable nor easy to work, and were therefore forced to improve their farming practices with clever, well-studied techniques.
Moreover, the location of Galicia on the border with various kingdoms (Portugal, Leon and Asturias), favoured cultural exchanges, which were very important for the wine. The same Cistercians who built monasteries in Galicia settled in the great monastery of Alcobaça (c. XII), laying the foundations for Portuguese viticulture. Bishops and feudal lords actually encouraged the planting of new vineyards in Galicia as a profitable crop and as a symbol of a prosperous economy for farmers who occupied the lands under Christian rule. Vineyards usually occupied the best estates.
In addition, Galicia’s trade relations with the British Isles opened the way to the great European wines. During the Middle Ages, the easiest exporting routes for Mediterranean wines followed the Spanish coast towards Galicia, stopping mainly in the estuary of the Miño.
Wines from Ribeiro de Ribadavia were already enjoying international fame during the fourteenth century. Over two million visitors each year arrived in Santiago during the golden age of the pilgrimage, with wine consumption becoming so abundant that in the sixteenth century growers of Ribadavia established control standards to ensure the authenticity of their Ribeiro wines.
The British also contributed to the progress of oenological techniques, introducing the technique of the addition of sulphur to help preserve export wines. However, when relations between England and Spain became frosty under the reign of Philip II, British merchants soon forgot wines from Ribadavia and sought their cargo in Viana de Costelo in Portugal.
Competition from the Portuguese always proved difficult for Galician grape growers. To make matters worse, in the mid nineteenth century Portuguese vineyards contracted a fatal disease that spread to Galician vineyards: mildew. During the same period, the region had the misfortune of suffering its first deadly attack: powdery mildew and then phylloxera, which destroyed the best Galician vineyards. Wines were then produced on a local, artisan level, becoming rustic and simple, and for many decades this was a pending issue.
Just remember that only a couple of decades ago, the popularity of Galician wine focused on cloudy white wines and skimmed reds, consumed in ‘cuncas’ or ‘taziñas’, with consumers mistaking them for ecological or natural wines, when they were in fact just unfinished.
Luckily, Galicians soon realised that this type of wine had little future in a consumer society, and began to take leaps and bounds into modernity. Generally, grape growers and winemakers in the region knew to give time and patience when restoring the valuable and authentic varieties of the land, while modern winemaking came about in record time. In short, the modernisation and expansion of viticulture in the region lead to the official recognition of the DO Ribeiro in 1957, which was the first wine DO in Galicia.
The DO Ribeiro is located in the northwest corner of Spain, in southern Galicia, in the north-western edge of the Orense province, in the confluences of the valleys formed by the Miño, Avia, Arnoia and Barbantiño rivers. The DO has an area of around 3000 hectares of registered vineyards spread across 65,000 separate plots, with 6000 registered winegrowers, 31 wineries and 85 ‘colleiteiros’.
Climate, Soils and Varieties.
The peculiar climate of the region is favoured by natural barriers and its southern inland location, which protect the territory from sub-Atlantic storms and provide an eco-climate that is a transition zone between oceanic and Mediterranean, which is why the climate is humid. Temperatures are warm at an annual average of 15ºC, with warm summers and cold winters. Its moderate characteristics between the oceanic and Mediterranean climates allow the fruit of the vines to mature, while retaining flavour and freshness.
In regards to soil, the region is home to predominantly sandy-loam soils, although loose textures can also be found in areas with alluvial sediments and finer textures on metamorphic rocks. Soils with predominantly sandy textures are warm with good drainage, which, together with low rainfall from July to September, favours water stress during ripening. The content of organic matter ranges between 1-4% for the topsoil and usually below 3% in the subsoil, which is sufficient for the development of significant microbial activity without generating excessive force.
The Regulatory Council of the DO Ribeiro has authorised up to 16 varieties of grape. The most predominant varieties include the Treixadura, Albariño, Godello, Torrontés and Loureira, as well as the experimental variety, Lado, and authorised varieties Albilla, Macabeo and Palomino. In regards to red varieties, the region grows Caiño, Ferrón, Sousón, Brancellao and Mencía, as well as the Garnacha Tintorera (or Alicante) and Tempranillo.
Wines and wineries of the DO Ribeiro.
The DO Ribeiro is home to large wineries, family wineries and some cooperatives. Wines from DO Ribeiro are mainly white wines, which represent 85% of production, while the rest are red wines. However, the traditional ‘tostado del Ribeiro’, a naturally sweet wine, deserves special mention. To produce this wine, the must is obtained from a selection of the best grapes which are raisined (dried). The production of this wine is done on a small scale, and is laborious and complex. It is a true gem of oenology with unique characteristics. The basic physical and chemical characteristics of the tostado do Ribero is its alcoholic strength, usually between 13-15% vol, and minimum residual sugars, which are between 100 and 150 grams per litre.
Viña Mein was founded in 1988 and owned by the Alén family, in the village of San Clodio, where the family acquired the Mein estate in the early 90s and replanted 18 hectares of vineyards on the best slopes of the Valle del Avia (San Clodio and Gomariz) with the Treixadura, Godello, Lado, Loureira, Torrontés and Albariño grapes. They also constructed well-equipped and modern winemaking facilities, which later expanded with a small rural friendly hotel that welcomed wine lovers and enthusiasts to stay at the winery and taste their various wines.
Since 2015, the production and development of all the wines at the winery has been led by Comando G, with annual production around 80,000 bottles, 75% of which is the classic Viña Mein Blanco, where the varietal filigree used to produce this wine makes it unique and personal, with tropical fruity aromas, fresh herbs, and a floral background. It is a proud, very fresh wine with a good fruity weight in the mouth. The other 25% from the winery is ‘vinos de paraje’ from selected plots: the whites Tega do Sal, Viña Mein Fermentado en Barrica, Eiras Altas, and Tinto Atlantico, the last of which is made from the red Brancellao, Caiño and Sousón varieties.
Coop. Vitivinícola Del Ribeiro. Founded in 1892, this winery helped contribute decisively to the revival of wines in the region of Ribeiro. Only 2 years after its founding, the winery released Pazo onto the market, the first wine from Ribeiro to be bottled and labelled.
Nearly 800 members of the cooperative provide the grape harvest collection. The facilities span across 6200 m2, with stainless steel fermentation tanks used for the vinification of the best white wines by the company, such as the Viña Costeira and the single variety Colección 69, made with the different varieties of the region.
Bodegas Reboreda. Situated along the Miño, this winery belongs to the Grupo Reboreda Morgadío, along with wineries within the DO Rías Baixas. The winery produces a range of wines including Reboreda Blanco, a blend of Treixadura, Godello, Palomino and Torrontés, a round, soft and structured wine, with notable fruity and floral aromas. Then there is Reboreda Tinto, a single variety red wine, made exclusively with Mencía grapes taken from a single estate. This wine offers a great structure on the palate, with aromas of berries and balanced tannins. The winery also produces El Gran Reboreda Blanco, a blend of Treixadura (80%), Godello (10%) and Loureira (10%) from the winery’s own estate. It is a refined and elegant wine, with a great floral and fruity character, with fresh notes of apple and a balanced acidity.
The winery’s latest innovation is the white wine 3URA, a blend of the three different grape varieties Treixadura (75%), Godello and Loureira (25% between them), taken from 3 different estates. One of the winery’s star wines is the tostado Alma de Reboreda, produced with the best Treixadura grapes which are harvested by hand, slowly pacified (dried) and finally aged for 2 years in oak barrels.
Coto de Gomariz. This winery resurfaced in the 1970s when Richard Carreiro Ameijeiras, after his journey to the Americas, restructured the family vineyards by replanting native grape varieties, and is considered the first mechanized vineyard in the area. The winery first started bottling wines in the 1980s, and in 2004 began cultivating its vineyards using organic and biodynamic agricultural techniques. Today the winery is home to 28 hectares of vineyards along the Avia valley. In Gomariz there are 24 hectares, almost all of which are cultivated through natural viticulture.
Currently the areas are distinguished by the quality of the areas and soils. With the areas of Premier Cru and the youngest vines of Gran Cru, they market Vitivinícola del Avia, while Gomariz as the oldest vines are marketed Coto de Gomariz. The winery also produces an impressive collection of white and red wines under the labels Abadía de Gomariz, Ailalá, Coios, Coto de Gomariz, O Con, Salvaxe, Seica, as well as a collection of fun wines such as Súper Héroe, and the new wine The Flower and the Bee Sousón, as well as The Flower and the Bee Treixadura.
Bodegas Semeirás is a project by Antonio Cajide Gulín, a colleiteiro situated in San André de Camporredondo. It was expanded and renovated in 2002, providing it with the latest technology. The winery is home to 6 hectares of vineyards, formed by seven different plots, O’Cotiño, O’Forte, O’Naranxo, A Horta, Sameirás and O’Troque in the parish of Santo André, and A Abeleira in the neighbouring Rivadavia. The vineyard plots are situated at altitudes between 95 and 290 metres above sea level, home to various soil varieties, dominated by shale, and slate evolved with the presence of pebble and quartz, especially in Santo André, as well as sandy granite soils in Rivadavia. The oldest vines in the vineyards are over 70 years old, while the youngest vines have been planted in the past 15 years. The winery produces three white wines with the labels Semeirá, 1040 and Viña do Avó, as well as the red wines Semeirás and Viña do Avó.
Bodegas Cunqueiro. This winery is situated on the left bank of the River Miño and although it became a commercial business in 1985, the family winery has been on the market since the 60s. The winery produces and markets a good collection of white and red wines, including Cunqueira, Cunqueiro III Milenium, Máis de Cunqueiro and Anciño.