Rias Baixas is located in the Galacia region of Northwestern Spain and enjoys a cool, coastal climate and is best known for producing Albariño
Unless you’re a fanatic for special great wine, and you like doing research, you may not be familiar with wine from Rias Baixas. Well, that’s actually good because one of the characteristics of Rias Baixas wine is its low yield and production count. Yes, there is very little wine from Rias Baixas, so ssssh… keep it a secret.
Rias Baixas is located in Galicia, Northwestern Spain, just on the tip of Portugal, a region surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and characterized by terrible weather and great wines. The entire area is approximately 4.00 hectares of vines and less than 200 wineries, so don’t be surprised if you have never heard of the place and its wine. However, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with what you will discover.
Albariño is the main grape in Rias Baixas and it shares the same mineral-rich soils and cool climate as France’s Loire Valley, New Zealand’s Marlborough, and the Rhine region of Germany—all producing amazing wine.
Almost all wine produced in Rias Baixas are white. Although 12 different grape varieties are allowed in winemaking in this region, around 96 percent of the wine are made from Alvarinho grapes, and this particular grape seems to thrive in this region.
Even though Rias Baixas is a small geographical area, and that the same grapes are virtually used to make all wine, expect some distinctive differences in the wine because of microclimate and terroir variations. You will find earthier wine in Tea; more crispy and aromatic in the Val de Salnes; with softer wine made in O Rosal.
Having said that, when you open a bottle of Alvarinho, regardless of who made it, expect a delicious pale gold lemon wine—crisp, elegant and fresh—it will astonish your guests.
Wine from Rias Baixas is great on their own, thanks to their freshness and complexity. But they really excel paired with fresh oysters, lobster, crab, white fish, and seafood, in general. Not into seafood? Try any salad with a Rias Baixas Alvarinho and you will be amazed.
Because they’re so niche, it will be a challenge to find Rias Baixas wines in Vietnam, my favorite Atlantis Alvarino, and one of the very few available, make sure you try it if you see it around.