Galician cuisine: a feast for palates and gourmets
Galician cuisine is simple yet offers a delicious meal and full-bodied wine for all gourmets. Characteristic is the distinct maritime touch of the dishes and the sparkling white wines, which harmonise perfectly with the sumptuous fish dishes. The Atlantic Ocean supplies Galicia with fish, prawns, octopus, crabs and a rich variety of shellfish. These are often prepared with tasty vegetables and served with a sparkling white ribeiro or albariño. Other typical dishes from Galicia include polbo á feira, which is boiled octopus refined with salt, paprika and oil. Pimientos de Padrón are also known in this country as fried green peppers. The dessert Tarta de Santiago is a sweet, perfectly baked almond tart, which comes from the capital of the Galician community. The locals spice their dishes sparingly, thus emphasising the pure peculiarities of the maritime and sun-drenched cuisine.
Galicia - the green Spain
La España verde - the green Spain in the northwest. The climatic conditions make Galicia green all year round. Especially in autumn and winter a very mild and humid climate can be observed in the wine-growing region of Galicia. The following applies to the whole of Spain: no other region has more rainfall than Galicia. With its hilly landscape and moderate, pleasant hours of sunshine in summer, it offers ideal conditions for the development of the vigorous vines. Green Spain is framed by the blue Atlantic Ocean in the west and the rugged Cantabrian Mountains in the east. Some fine sandy coastlines are interspersed with beautiful bays and the nutrient-rich estuaries extend far into the Galician mainland. The self-governing community has magnificent forest areas, which account for almost a third of the total forest cover of the Spanish nation. Even eucalyptus grows here.
The wine-growing areas of Galicia
Galicia has several famous wine regions, all of which are located to the south. Five of them are entitled to bear the coveted "D.O." designation. This stands for Denominación de Origen and is a designation of origin that also guarantees the highest quality standards. The most famous wine-growing areas in Galicia, which are also allowed to bear the D.O. mark of quality, are called
- Ribeira Sacra
- Rías Baixas
Selected quality criteria for wine from Galicia
Wine from Galicia has several quality requirements. In order for a Galician wine to be qualitatively labelled as D.O., the following criteria, among others, must be met in the explicit regulations:
● Yield per hectare
● Grape variety
● Alcohol content
The terroir of the Galician Rías Baixas wine region
Rías are the fjords that extend far inland in the autonomous community of Galicia. Rías Baixas are the lower fjords, if the melodious proper name of the wine-growing region is translated literally. Due to the Atlantic Ocean and the hilly area, sun and rain alternate, and occasionally fog alternates lively along the slopes. These are excellent conditions for white grapes. Granite and slate are mostly found in the soil. Loam, sand and gravel fill them with important minerals.
Galicia and the Costa da Morte were the end of the world
Costa da Morte means "coast of death". Before America was discovered, the popular Cape Finisterre in the west of the Galician province of A Coruña was considered the end of the world. The ominous name of the coastal stretch is indeed justified. For the Costa da Morte is an opaque and demanding coastline, characterised by cliffs full of rocks and many small islands, where shipping accidents still happen today. The view from the cliffs is nevertheless picturesque: warm sunsets form the backdrop for a rocky coast interspersed with cracks and deep crevices, while the wind stirs up the nearby grain fields.
Interesting facts about Galicia wine
Which white grape varieties are common in Galicia?
In the well-known D.O. wine-growing areas there are numerous white grape varieties, which make up the majority of the wines produced in the whole of Galicia. White grape varieties that are vinified include Treixadura, Palomino, Godello, Albariño, Doña Blanca, Torrontés, Loureiro Blanco (Marques) and Macabeo.
Where do the red Galician grape varieties come from?
Even if the beautiful wine-growing region of Galicia mainly produces white grape varieties, the charismatic red grape varieties are a treat in themselves. From the Ribeiro wine-growing region, near the Portuguese north, come Tempranillo, Brancellao or Mencía. The latter red grape variety is very characteristic of the Ribeira Sacra wine region. More than 85% of all red varieties are Mencía and sometimes ripen to their full flavour on terraces in south-western cultivation. The Valdeorras wine region is located in the province of Ourense. The valley also produces a large part of Mencía, but also Cabernet Sauvignon, Merenzao and Gran Negro.
Why is the white grape variety Godello from Galicia so famous?
The autochthonous grape variety Godello is still on everyone's lips today because it was almost completely destroyed by phylloxera in the 1970s. There were not a thousand vines left with this elegant white grape. In the Valdeorras wine region, however, the remaining vines were successfully saved, propagated and made known worldwide. Godello is reminiscent of apricots and fresh green apples, which gives it a particularly fruity acidity. The white grape variety is in principle rare, which in turn encourages shrewd Galician winemakers to vinify it for its exclusivity and fame.
Buy Galician wines online at VINELLO
Our online wine shop offers a wide range of Galician wines. On VINELLO.com you will find dry, tangy white wines like As Sortes 2018 from the Rafael Galacios winery. Black and red berries make the dry Avanthia Mencía 2009 particularly fruity for the palate. Our service and our shop are very customer-friendly: Convenient payment, fast and secure shipping almost worldwide.
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