Get To Know Rías Baixas
What is it?
Rías Baixas is a wine region in the Northwest corner of Spain above the Northern border with Portugal. The region, unlike the rest of Spain, is cool with lush green hills and a relatively high amount of rainfall. This provides the perfect conditions to make light, elegant white wines with crisp acidity.
Where is it grown?
The region lies in the Northwest of Spain in Galicia. Rías Baixas straddles four estuaries of rivers that spill out into the Atlantic Ocean. There is a cool Atlantic climate with cold winters and summer temperatures that rarely get above 30 degrees Celsius. The region endures a lot of fog and higher rainfall compared to the rest of the country. The soils of Rías Baixas are mostly granitic and mineral rich, adding to the wine’s terroir.
What does it taste like?
With the low temperatures and high amounts of fog and rainfall in the region the stage is set for crisp and elegant whites with a lean body and fresh citrus notes. Albariño is the star of the show and the best examples will show lemon peel, fresh cut grass and honeydew melon. Other wines of the region include Godello which has a more nutty, mineral expression and Torrontés that has a beautiful floral nose. Although the vast majority of wines are stainless steel fermented, crisp and fresh, there are a few producers experimenting with barrel ageing and skin contact to add richness and complexity to the wines.
What does it pair with?
The classic adage of “what grows together goes together” certainly applies here and Rías Baixas wines pair wonderfully with seafood. However the wines will also go well with creamy cheeses, chickpea salads or cauliflower “wingz”.
Rías Baixas is one of the few wine regions in the world where more than 50% of the winemakers are female.
By volume, over 95% of wine that comes from Rías Baixas is white. However there are actually more permitted red varietals in the region with 7 permitted reds and 6 permitted whites.