The main functions of Regulating Councils (Consejos Reguladores) are Origin Control, Quality Control, Market Control and the promotion of the products under their administration. The Rías Baixas Wine Regulating Council therefore gives every guarantee to the consumer as to the quality and the origin of its wines.
The work of Quality Control in the Rías Baixas appellation begins from the moment a wine estate has registered at the Wine Regulating Council. Shortly before the harvest, the appellation’s crop size and quality are estimated in a representative percentage of vineyard plots in the different sub-zones of the Rías Baixas appellation. During the harvest, the Wine Council, via its inspectors, carries out audits at wineries to check that the conditions stipulated in the specifications dossier are being properly observed and that the approved standards of harvesting are being met.
Wines coming under the Rías Baixas appellation are verified batch by batch. Each time a winery wishes to qualify a quantity of its wine as Rías Baixas, it has to apply for authorisation from the Wine Regulating Council, which sends an inspector to the winery to carry out the taking of wine samples from sealed vats. These undergo a laboratory analysis (physical, chemical and biological) as well as a tasting analysis carried out by the Qualification Committee of the Wine Council, who then cross-check their results with those of the official laboratories.
The Regulating Council is also involved in the care and protection of the appellation’s products, collaborating with other bodies, such as the ICA, in Product Control, in order to prevent fraud in the market place.
Promotion of its wines
Another of the main functions of the Regulating Council is to promote the appellation as a whole and its wines in particular. This work has helped the wines penetrate markets not only in Spain but also in a large number of export markets.
The painstaking work that has been carried out by all involved in the appellation (wineries, growers, administrators and the Council’s personnel) has helped generate great wealth in those regions covered by the Rías Baixas appellation, which has made the wine-growing sector second in economic importance in the region.
The Rías Baixas Regulating Council gained official certification at the Entidad Nacional de Certificación (ENAC) in November 2014, and this status has been renewed each year since. This is an international certification that complies with UNE-ISO/IEC 17065 regulations, which meet the OCM requirements for wine production and commerce for all European indications of quality. With this certification, the Control and Certification Body, which is responsible for guaranteeing the wines of this appellation throughout the whole of their process, helps reinforce consumer confidence in the reliability of the Rías Baixas name.
Furthermore, all of the work that has been carried out over the years by the Regulating Council, its wineries and its growers, has generated comprehensive, detailed documentation in which the whole process is set out in minute detail, from the Quality Manual, the Regulating Council’s specifications sheet, operating procedures and technical instructions, to specific harvesting, labelling and sparkling wine production regulations.