Wines of Galicia Route
WINES OF GALICIA ROUTE (RUTA DE LOS VINOS GALLEGOS)
There are plenty of opportunities on this route to become well acquainted with the excellent wines found in Galicia, which produces probably the best white wines in the country. Other highlights of this route are the two splendidly restored monasteries – both now Paradors – in Monforte and Santo Estevo.
Suggested access airports: Madrid/Valladolid/Santander
7 NIGHT ITINERARY
First Night: Parador de PUEBLA DE SANABRÍA
The Natural Park of the Lake of Sanabria is an undoubtedly attractive location with the largest natural lake in the Iberian peninsula. There is also an impressive 15th century castle built by the Count of Benavente, the Romanic Santa Maria del Azogue church, the San Cayetano hermitage and the town hall building, all declared buildings of Historic-Artistic interest.
Second Night: Parador de MONTERREI
The Monterrei denominación de origen spreads along the slopes of the hills and valleys watered by the Támega River, covering an area of approximately 3,000 hectares. The spread of religious orders in the early Middle Ages brought with it an increasing number of the vineyards which accumulated around the monasteries and convents. The grape varieties of the Monterrei region are highly distinctive; the whites include Verdello, Doña Blanca, Monstruosa and Treixadura or Verdello Louro; the reds, Mencia and Bastardo. Near the Parador, you will find the Gargalo Winery, owned by the Galician designer Roberto Verino.
Important: This Parador only has double-bedded rooms available on this route.
Third Night: Parador de MONFORTE
(Ribeira Sacra denominación de origen, Amandi sub-region, and Valeorras denominación de origen)
From Verín we travel to the Rivera Sacra region. In 1993 the Viños da Terra name was officially approved, but did not really take off until 1996, with final approval of the denominación de origen. Also nearby is the Valeorras denominación de origen, officially recognized in 1945. The tradition of wine-making here dates back to Roman times, and at present there are more than forty wineries registered here, characterized by the use of the white varieties Godello, Dña. Blanca, Palomino Fino, Moscatel de Bago Miudo, and the red varieties Mencia, Merenzao, Negreda, Grao Negro, Garnacha Tintorera, Arbarello, Tempranillo and Tintilla. www.ribeirasacra.org, www.dovaldeorras.com
Fourth Night: Parador de STO. ESTEVO
(Ribera Sacra denominación de origen, Ribera de Sil sub-region, and Ribeiro denominación de origen)
We are in the heart of the Ribeira Sacra region. The Ribeira Sacra Regulatory Council has three main tasks: guaranteeing the origin of the product, ensuring its quality and promoting the wines produced in the area covered by the denominación de origen. Wines with the Ribera Sacra denominación de origen must have the following basic characteristics: single-variety whites made 100% from white Albariño or Godello grapes, and single-variety reds made 100% from the Mencía red grape. www.ribeirasacra.org
Fifth Night: Parador de TUI
(Rías Baixas denominación de origen, O Rosal sub-region)
In March 1988 the Rías Baixas denominación de origen was officially recognized. The wines protected by this certification are made exclusively with the following white grape varieties: Albariño, Loureira blanca and Marqués, Treixadura and Caiño blanco. Reds include: Caiño tinto, Espadeiro, Loureira tinta and Sousón. The O Rosal sub-region is located around the mouth of the Miño River, along the right side. From A Guarda, on the sea, it is possible to make out the Miño Estuary. On Mount Santa Tecla, with its exceptional panoramic views, sits the most important Romanized hill fort in Galicia (5th-century B.C.). The hill is covered with petroglyphs and rock carvings, and has an archeological museum located at the top. Near O Rosal is an interesting group of watermills, and the town contains more than 50 stone crosses (16th-18th centuries). www.doriasbaixas.com
Sixth and Seventh Nights: Parador de CAMBADOS
(Rías Baixas denominación de origen, Val Do Sálnes sub-region)
The perfect end to this fascinating journey. The Val Do Salnés sub-region, with its center in Cambados, is the largest of the five sub-regions which make up this denominación de origen in the Umia River Valley. This is a spectacular site for wine lovers, and visitors will find a number of options. The whites of the Rías Baixas denominación de origen are dry with a sharp, floral and intensely fruity aroma. They have a very fine, long aftertaste. The single-variety Albariños are straw-colored and bright, with golden and green iridescence. Rosal and Condado do Tea wines are personalized by containing the Loureira and Treixadura varieties, respectively. These are lightly acidic wines with intense aromas, and mouth-filling, pleasant and attractive flavour. www.doriasbaixas.com