The Rías Baixas Designation of Origin is a small wine-growing area in north-west Spain, in the region of Galicia. While Rías Baixas has a thousand-year-old wine-growing tradition, passed down from generation to generation, it was in 1988, with the setting up of the Rías Baixas Wine Regulating Council, that the wine-growing sector began to play a fundamental part in the development of the region’s economy.
The Rías Baixas Designation of Origin is mostly located in the province of Pontevedra, plus a small part in that of La Coruña. It is divided into five sub-zones: Val do Salnés, O Rosal, Ribeira do Ulla, Condado do Tea and Soutomaior.
The D.O. Rías Baixas vineyard is characterised by tiny micro-plots of vines. In total, the surface area covers 4,184 hectares (10,334 acres) made up of over 22,500 vineyard plots.
Our continuing commitment to our indigenous grape varieties, which achieve their finest expression in our region, together with traditional vine-growing practices, result in high quality wines with a distinct identity and a marked Atlantic character.
The wines of D.O. Rías Baixas have enjoyed an amazing period of growth since their first release on the market in the 1980s and this is a continuing trend. In just ten years, the wines produced by D.O Rías Baixas have increased by 42%, to almost 28 million litres of wine, while exports have almost tripled to 9.5 million litres.
We live and work in a privileged, natural environment with a very rich cultural, gastronomic and landscape heritage. The Rías Baixas Wine Route offers the most complete wine tourism experience in an individual wine region. Evoking the history of our region, many of our wineries are located inside character buildings with traditional Galician architecture, such as ‘pazos’ and manor houses surrounded by stunning gardens. Take a trip along the Rías Baixas Wine Route and immerse all five senses in the culture of wine!
Rías Baixas wines, like all top quality wines, go hand in hand with gastronomy and culture. We shouldn’t forget however that they are the fruit of painstaking work carried out throughout the year by growers, wineries, winemakers and technical crews. And this work deserves to be celebrated.
Hence our wine fiestas: La Fiesta del Vino Rías Baixas Albariño, La Feira do Viño do Rosal, la Festa do Viño do Condado, La Exaltación do Viño da Ulla, La Festa do Viño Espumoso and La Fiesta del Vino Tinto Rías Baixas. These fiestas provide an opportunity for our wine professionals to meet up and drink to their excellent work.
The Festa del Vino Rías Baixas Albariño is the oldest gastronomic fiesta in Galicia. Held every year since 1953 in Cambados, the cradle of Albariño, it brings together thousands of people in a celebration of the most popular wine of our Designation of Origin. During the fiesta, visitors can visit the stands of the D.O.’s wineries and taste their wines. The D.O. Rías Baixas Regulating Council also organises every year a Professional Wine Tunnel, which is open to the public, and a Rías Baixas Wine Tasting Challenge, in which the best Rías Baixas Albariños of the year are elected. At each edition, ‘knights’ and ‘ladies’ are designated by the Capítulo Serenísimo da Orden do Albariño to transmit and promote the virtues of our wines.
The fiesta celebrating the wines of Rías Baixas Condado do Tea is held in the superb Fortaleza de Salvaterra, a historic quarter listed as a Cultural Heritage area. It attracts local people and outside visitors who can enjoy tasting the best wines of the Condado do Tea subzone. The event also offers gastronomic products from the sea, land and rivers and includes a varied cultural programme during the ‘gastronomic evenings’. On the Sunday, the ‘Delicious Wines of the Year’ are elected, while members of the brotherhood and ambassadors charged with defending and promoting the virtues of the wines of Condado are solemnly inducted.
The Feira do Viño do Rosal is begun with the official declaration of the opening of the fiesta at the O Calvario village square in O Rosal and continues for the 3 days of the weekend. Thousands of people attend the event every year to enjoy a tasting of the wines of Rías Baixas Rosal, offered by the local wineries at stands set up around the square. At the same time, a full programme of concerts, activities for children and a sampling of the local gastronomy can be enjoyed. The wineries also open their doors to visitors who wish to find out about their vineyards and winemaking processes. The Rosal local council organises hiking routes and sporting events in a full programme of festivities.
The traditional wine celebration of the Rías Baixas Ribeira do Ulla brings together local people and outside visitors in the parish of San Miguel de Sarandón, in the municipality of Vedra. The producers of the Ulla subzone offer free glasses of wine served from great wineskins hung up especially for the occasion on what is now named the ‘Praza do Viño’, while the organisers induct new members into the ‘Orde dos Amigos e Amigas da Bota do Viño da Ulla’. The programme includes a tasting of traditional gastronomic products, musical entertainment and a display of local agricultural products, crafts and tourist activities.
A few weeks before Christmas and the high season for Rías Baixas Sparkling Wine consumption, the D.O. Rías Baixas Sparkling Wine fiesta is celebrated in the Doña Urraca castle. The wineries in our D.O. that produce sparkling wines host a tasting for visitors who, as well as tasting wines and sampling tapas and local gastronomic products, have the opportunity to take part in tasting classes and watch gastronomic cooking shows. The opening of the sparkling wine bottles is performed using a sword. Known as the ‘sabrage’ technique, this demonstration is great entertainment.
The Festa do Tinto Rías Baixas, which takes place in the main square of As Neves, brings together wine producers and enthusiasts of D.O. Rías Baixas red wines in a celebration of the increasingly popular red wines of our appellation. As Neves and more specifically the parish of Rubiós are the epicentre of Rías Baixas red wine production, and the fiesta centres on the wines produced with the Caíño Tinto, Espadeiro and Retinto grape varieties. This wine and gastronomy celebration is completed by an extensive programme of cultural activities, professional tastings, a tapas route through the town’s bars and restaurants, as well as activities organised inside the wineries.