Rias Baixas: Albariño & Friends in O Rosal
Play • 52 min

In Episode 4 in a five-part series on Rias Baixas,  the Wine Thieves speak with winemaker Emilio Rodriguez of the Terras Gauda winery in O Rosal, the largest privately owned winery in Rias Baixas. Emilio has been at Terras Gauda for longer than he can remember, and he is a big fan of some of the other native grapes of the region beyond Albariño, especially caiño blanco.  He speaks about the sweeping changes that occurred in the region, bringing Rias Baixas out of the middle ages of homespun winemaking and into the modern, quality-focused industry it is today. 

O Rosal is in the spotlight, the third most important sub-zone of Rias Baixas in size after the Salnés Valley and Condado do Tea. A coastal region in the southwestern corner of Galicia, bordered by the Minho River and Portugal to the south, Condado do Tea to the east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. O Rosal accounts for about 11% of total plantings in Rias Baixas,  and sits in temperature between that of Condado do Tea, the warmest, and Val do Salnés, the coolest.

Albariño is the main variety here, but complementary white varieties loureiro, treixadura, caiño and even godello have a role to play.  Terraced, south-facing vineyards along the north bank of the Minho enjoy excellent sun exposure, maximizing the nearly 2200 sunshine hours per year. Ripeness is nudged to a slightly higher degree than in the Salnés Valley, enabling even late varieties like caiño to deliver. Another distinguishing feature of Rosal is the band of schist bedrock that runs through the region, a variation on the otherwise granite-derived soils in most of the rest of the Rías Baixas D.O. You can expect the white wines of O Rosal to tilt more towards stone fruit flavours and relatively generous and rounded palate.

Grab a glass of your prefered Atlantic white and join John & Sara on their continued journey across the misty terroir of Rias Baixas. 

Salud!

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