My tasting tour of Rias Baixas led to a wonderful discovery: The female winemakers in this region have made an indelible impression upon the quality of the wines and the respect Albariño grapes have earned internationally.
I spent an afternoon at Pazo de Señoráns with Marisol Bueno, one of the founders of the Albariño D.O., along with her daughter Vicky and their team to learn the history behind the creation of the appellation. Like many of the smaller wine regions around the world, Marisol wanted to showcase the grapes inherent to Rias Baixas, taking advantage of the terroir of Galicia and its unique qualities to craft what has become one of my favorite wines.
Winemakers often become philosophical about the “struggle of the grapes” and how it lends character to their flavor profile. In Galicia the grapes do indeed face difficult conditions, as the climate is consistently moist, presenting the ever-present danger of mildew. Albariño grapes must be coaxed to grow in a manner that enables sunlight to penetrate the vines and keep them dry, which winery manager Javier Izurieta Romero explains in detail in the following video.