Ribeira Sacra

Wines that are strongly influenced by the microclimate of Ribera

Ribeira Sacra is one of those magical places that you just have to visit to truly experience it. The vertiginous terraces rise steep on the banks of the river Sil, making the terrain difficult to work on that it requires complete manual work and labor on the vineyards. The agriculture carried out here is aptly referred to as ‘heroic agriculture’, due to the hard work carried out cultivating the land. Both red and white wines are produced in the Ribeira Sacra. The red wines are mostly made with the Mencía variety, defined by their expressive and elegant character with a good acidity. The Ribeira Sacra white wines are principally made with the Godello and Albariño varieties. They are wines with a good volume in the mouth, aromatic and fruity. The Ribeira Sacra wines are often come in very limited productions, are of high quality and with notable personalities.

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There are 43 products.

43 productos

Lalama 2018

Freshness and minerality of the Bibei valley

Spain   D.O. Ribeira Sacra (Galicia)

Lalama 2018
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Price £19.26
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Guímaro Finca Meixeman 2019

A powerful blend of local varieties

Spain   D.O. Ribeira Sacra (Galicia)

Guímaro Finca Meixeman 2019
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Price £23.63
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Algueira Serradelo 2016

Spain   D.O. Ribeira Sacra (Galicia)

Algueira Serradelo 2016
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Price £38.00
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95
Peñín
92
Parker

Lapola 2019

Elegance and character

Spain   D.O. Ribeira Sacra (Galicia)

Lapola 2019
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Price £21.42
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94
Peñín

Dominio do Bibei 2015

Atlantic finesse and elegance

Spain   D.O. Ribeira Sacra (Galicia)

Dominio do Bibei 2015
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Price £44.32
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97
Peñín
95
Parker

Lacima 2017

Spain   D.O. Ribeira Sacra (Galicia)

Lacima 2017
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Price £34.87
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Guímaro 2020

A coupage that reflects the Ribeira Sacra landscape

Spain   D.O. Ribeira Sacra (Galicia)

Guímaro 2020
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Price £11.83
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91
Peñín

Algueira Finca Cortezada 2019

The perfect balance between salinity, acidity and bitterness

Spain   D.O. Ribeira Sacra (Galicia)

Algueira Finca Cortezada 2019
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Price £22.86
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Almalarga Godello 2020

Unctuous, fresh and amiable

Spain   D.O. Ribeira Sacra (Galicia)

Almalarga Godello 2020
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Price £14.72
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Almanova 2019

Spain   D.O. Ribeira Sacra (Galicia)

Almanova 2019
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Price £12.13
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Ponte da Boga Mencía 2019

Fragrant elegance

Spain   D.O. Ribeira Sacra (Galicia)

Ponte da Boga Mencía 2019
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Price £10.69
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Abadia da Cova 2019

Spain   D.O. Ribeira Sacra (Galicia)

Abadia da Cova 2019
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Price £12.30
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Daterra Casas de Enriba 2019

A Mencía full of delicious contrasts

Spain   D.O. Ribeira Sacra (Galicia)

Daterra Casas de Enriba 2019
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Biodynamic
Price £17.22
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Fedellos do Couto As Xaras 2020

A juicy Mencía with a mineral character

Spain   D.O. Ribeira Sacra (Galicia)

Fedellos do Couto As Xaras...
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Price £15.91
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Ponte da Boga Academia 2019

A fresh, jovial and fragrant signature rosé

Spain   D.O. Ribeira Sacra (Galicia)

Ponte da Boga Academia 2019
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Price £12.98
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88
Parker

O Estranxeiro Blanco 2020

A fresh and very fragrant native coupage

Spain   D.O. Ribeira Sacra (Galicia)

O Estranxeiro Blanco 2020
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Price £14.59
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Refugallo Blanco 2018

A fresh and fruity Godello

Spain   D.O. Ribeira Sacra (Galicia)

Refugallo Blanco 2018
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Price £14.12
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Guímaro Camiño Real 2019

Freshness, minerality and Ribera Sacra tradition

Spain   D.O. Ribeira Sacra (Galicia)

Guímaro Camiño Real 2019
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Price £16.97
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Ponte da Boga Blanco Lexítimo 2020

The first single-variety Lexítimo Blanco from a Denomination of Origin

Spain   D.O. Ribeira Sacra (Galicia)

Ponte da Boga Blanco...
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Price £21.04
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Ponte da Boga Porto de Lobos 2016

The ruling ancient variety of the Ribeira Sacara

Spain   D.O. Ribeira Sacra (Galicia)

Ponte da Boga Porto de...
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Price £25.03
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92
Peñín

Guímaro A Ponte 2019

An international representative of Ribeira Sacra

Spain   D.O. Ribeira Sacra (Galicia)

Guímaro A Ponte 2019
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Price £27.95
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Albamar Fusco 2019

A fresh and well-integrated Atlantic red

Spain   D.O. Ribeira Sacra (Galicia)

Albamar Fusco 2019
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Price £12.89
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91
Suckling

Guímaro Godello 2020

Spain   D.O. Ribeira Sacra (Galicia)

Guímaro Godello 2020
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Price £14.21
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Castro Candaz Mencía 2019

Mencía essence

Spain   D.O. Ribeira Sacra (Galicia)

Castro Candaz Mencía 2019
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Price £12.47
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Algueira Carravel 2017

Spain   D.O. Ribeira Sacra (Galicia)

Algueira Carravel 2017
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Price £24.86
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Refugallo Tinto 2018

ncient winemaking tradition in vogue

Spain   D.O. Ribeira Sacra (Galicia)

Refugallo Tinto 2018
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Price £13.36
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More about D.O. Ribeira Sacra

Deep in the heart of rural Galicia, where the rivers Sil and Miño meet, the Ribeira Sacra is an area of stunning natural beauty, whose ancient woods and small villages remain steeped in legends and myths. The Ribeira Sacra it also home to the legend Amandi. A wine that according to legend was a favourite of Emperor Tiberius. It is generally believed that grape growing and wine production were introduced to the area by the ancient Romans. It is said that the legendary spiced Vinos de Amandi were shipped to Rome along with the lampreys fished out of the river Miño, to be served at the table of the emperors.

The term "Ribeira Sacra" was first used by the Queen of Portugal in 1124, when she refered to the area as ´Rivoyra Sacrata' in a document signed in the Gallician town of Allariz to the monastery of Santa María of Montederramo. The term 'Sacra' perfectly defines a land chosen for its special orography to lead a life of meditation, sacrifice and prayer, which gave rise to the construction of Benedictine and Cistercians monasteries. It was the monks who replanted the vineyards for their own consumption.

DO. Ribeira Sacra was only recently officially recognised as a Denominación de Origen back in 1997. However, its development and progress has been spectacular in every way, with the number of wineries increasing from 49 starting at 89, as did the number of wineries, from 950 to over 2,600.  Also since its inception, the region has expanded from 990 hectares of vineyards to over 2,500, although only 1,500 hectares meet the required standards of the DO. Ribeira Sacra.

Ribeira Sacra is located in the North West of Spain, in the Autonomous Community of Galicia, extending over 19 different municipalities in the provinces of Lugo and Orense, whose vineyards are located along the banks of the Miño and Sil. Se divide en cinco subzonas, cada una con un microclima diferente: Chantada, al norte, sobre el Miño;Ribeira Sacra is divided into five sub-areas, each with a different microclimate. Moving from north to south, the sub-zones are: Chantada, north of the Miño; Amandi, capital of the municipality of Monforte de Lemos;  Ribeiras do Miño, the the largest sub-zone;  Ribeiras do Sil-Ourense and lastly Quiroga-Bibei.

Here, as in some other wine regions such as Priorat, the nearby Douro in Portugal or the valleys of the Rhine, most vines are grown on steep slopes and steep gradients, so carrying out the harvest becomes a difficult, almost heroic task, De ahí el sobrenombre “ viticultura heroica ”.hence the nickname "heroic viticulture". There are even places that require a special permit in order to carry out the vintage putting the grapes in sacks, rather than boxes that are usually used, which are then taken to the cellar in the back of a donkey, being the only transport system able to face the narrow gorges.


Ribeira Sacra climate, soil and varieties

Another distinctive aspect of this region is the coastal microclimate. Due to the special topography of the region, the temperature, humidity and hours of insolation are different to any other region of Galicia. The region is also home to fertile soils with a strong presence of slate. The climates differ between the subzones that lie on the River Sil and those that lie on the Miño. Those on the River Sil experience 700mm of annual rainfall, while those on the River Miño experience 900mm. In regards to temperature, the Sil valley has an annual average temperature of 13.2ºC, with the Miño slightly higher at 13.9ºC. Generally speaking, the subzones that lie on the Sil experience the climate of an inner region, while climate in the Miño Valley has intermediate characteristics between a transition Atlantic region and the interior.

The soil composition, the orientation of the vines, climate and adaption of the vines and the work of the winegrowers conforms to the geographical patterns of the region. For example, the Miño Valley is home to granite soils that dominate throughout western Galicia, sandy and silty, fresh and permeable. The Sil Valley, however, has soils similar to those in eastern Galicia, abundant in Clay, although the soils on terraces is a major improvement on the quality of original soil.

The main white varieties grown in the Ribeira Sacra are almost the same as those grown in the rest of Galicia. Albariño is dominant, along with Loureira, Treixadura, Godello, Doña Blanca or “cool girl” and Torrontés. The Mencía grapes dominates the red varieties, and is considered the staple variety of the region, followed by the Brancellao and the Merenzao, both in danger of becoming extinct, and finally the Mouratón and Grenache.


Ribeira Sacra Wines and Wineries

Ribeira Sacra concentrates the majority of its efforts towards the production of red wines. However, the region produces extremely interesting and excellent white wines.

The Mencía variety dominates production in Ribeira Sacra. According to some historians, the Mencía grape is infact the same as the Cabernet Franc, which came to Galicia from France after phylloxera devasted Galician vineyards. Others claim that it actually originates from Catalonia, brought over by two Galician farmers, Dario Fernandez Crespo and Jose Nuñez, back in 1884. Another theory suggests that the Mencía grape is infact an indigenous variety that has been present in the region since long ago, arriving on Spanish soil thanks to the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage.

Regardless of its origin, Ribeira Sacra wines are usually associated with Mencía grape and are usually young wines. These wines exhibit an attractive ripe cherry red colour, marked by bluish hues that meet to make a beautiful purple colour. On the nose, they are expressive and elegant. In fact, for many the Mencías aromas are reminiscent of the Cabernet Franc, with fresh fruits, notes of raspberry blueberries, wild blackberries, black currants and some balsamic eucalyptus. 

Generally, red wines from Ribeira Sacra have a marked acidity that keeps them fresh and lively on the palate. They are characterized by a large and fleshy palate full of fruity sensations and with an evident acidity that it is welcomed. They have a well-structured body and are suitably tannic and with a slight vegetal aftertaste. The aftertaste is quite long, lively and persistent.

White wine is produced on a smaller scale in the region. Generally speaking, the whites from this region are made from a blend of Godello and Albariño and tend to have a straw yellow colour, with golden green hues.

The whites produced have an aromatic range that combines the features of both varieties. They are intensely aromatic, more fruity than floral, with a predominance of aromas of apple, banana and herbs. In the mouth, they present some meatiness and intense fruitiness, and are well balanced and fresh thanks to its good acidity. She does not become too flat or overly bearing.  One notable difference with the more traditional albariños is that the alcohol content here generally is higher, due in part to the vineyards warmer climate here. This causes these wines are more bulky in the mouth, less light, with a feeling of warmth, and a slightly sweeter taste. However, they are provided with a remarkable total acidity that follows keeping in line with the main characteristics of Galician white wines: freshness and liveliness. Acidillos offer more body than traditional albariños, and some have a remarkable finesse, especially when Treixadura and Torrontés come into play in its composition.

Ribeira Sacra maintains the essence of Galician wines, since all of the traditional Galician grape varieties are grown here.

Ribeira Sacra is home to a wide variety of producers, from small family run wineries up to large scale wineries, with some understanding more than others the value of having and using an exceptional vineyard.  

It would only be fair to mention someone who helped transform and revelotionise this región, Raúl Pérez, who is consistently recognised as one of Spains leading winemakers, designers and consultants in the industy. His wine El Pecado achieve 98 points on The Wine Advotace, awarded by influential American wine critic Robert Parker.

Pérez continues to work and collaborate with winemakers in the region and advising others such as Alguiera and Guímaro, where El Pecado was later developed. He helped completely revolutionse the image and reputation of Galician wines, which was until then only associated with whites. The collaboration between Raúl Pérez & Rodrigo Méndez also deserves a special mention, together producing single-estate wines under the labels of Castro Candaz La Vertical, a Godello from the subzone of Chantada, aged in French oak barrels ; Finca El Currado and A Boca do Demo. 

Bodegas Guímaro. Founded at the beginning of the 20th Century and undergoing major renovation in 1991. The company traditionally produces wines under two different labels: Guímaro Joven and Guímaro Barrica and the majority of their production comes from their own vineyards in the Amandi subzone. Also, through collaboration with Raúl Pérez, this winery has also produced El Pecado, La Penitencia and Finca Capelino.

Bodega Dominio de Bidei. This winery was founded back in 2000, presenting its first wine in 2002. Their artisan wines are made principally from two grape varieties, Godello and Mencía, these include the single variety wines Lacima (with a small percentage of Brancellao) and Lapena. Their red wine Lalama, produced by the Sara Pérez and René Barbier, is made using a high percentage of Mencía, with hints of Grenache, Brancellao, Mouratón, and is currently one of the best wines from Galicia.

Bodega Ronsel do Sil. A relatively young winery, founded in 2010 by a couple of architects from Madrid who decide to produce wine. They cultivated two hectares of vineyards, own and part leased to growers in the area. wines include a single variety Merenzao Alpendre, the Vel'uveyra, a single varietal Godello Mencia and another from the granitic soils of the area of ​​Ribas de Sil; the Ourive, with Godello and Dona Blanca, and Arpegio with Mencia, they obtained from vineyards on slate soils of Val do Bibei. 

Situation of D.O. Ribeira Sacra