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Galicia is a Spanish winemaking region located in the northwest corner of the Iberian Peninsula. It is known for its cool, moderate temperature and green, lush rolling hills that has resulted in some calling this region “the green corner of Spain.” To the south of Galicia is Portugal and to the east is another Spanish winemaking region, Castilla y Leon.
Galicia is primarily known for its production of white wine, especially zesty white wines that pair well with fresh fish. The main varietals include Albarino, Loureiro, Torrontes, Godello, Treixadura and Caino Blanco. In general, red wines such as Mencia are only produced in the warmer inland areas. Most of the region’s most important vineyards are located in the Mino River valley.
Galicia has five official denominacions de origen (DOs) – Ribeiro, Ribeira Sacra, Monterrei, Valdeorras, and Rias Baixas. Of these five, the most famous internationally is Rias Baixas, which produces crisp, aromatic white wines made from the Albarino grape. These wines are very similar to the Vinho Verde wines made in nearby Portugal.
Geographically, this region is exposed on two sides to the Atlantic Ocean. This is what makes it one of the wettest parts of Spain. Cool moisture and winds from the Atlantic are important influences on which wine grapes are able to flourish in Galicia.
Winemaking in Galicia originated with the ancient Romans. Ever since then, winemaking has flourished in Galicia. During the Middle Ages, for example, monks kept alive the winemaking tradition and helped make Galicia famous for its wines.
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