Rias Baixas is cool and damp completely unlike the rest of Spain. This climate is the perfect situation for Albariño, a rot-resistant, thick-skinned white grape that offers flavors of melons, citrus and tropical fruits. The history of the vine in this region is linked to French monks invited here by King Alfonso 7th. The D.O. was granted in 1988 after several years of concentrated development and replanting to higher quality grapes including Albariño, Loureira and Treixadura. Two new subregions were added to the D.O. in 1996 and 2000, so production is expected to increase over the next decade as new vines come into production.
Climate: The climate is extreme with high winds in portions near the sea, winter frosts, hail storms and Summer temperatures reaching over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Rainfall is heavy with up to 80 inches a year.
Soil: Soils are granitic sand over mother rock with flat areas richer in organic matter and slopes more poor with less organic matter and lower ph. Traditional vineyards have granite pergolas with the vines trained high off the ground to avoid the damp earth and for better exposure to the sun.
Grape Varities: Albariño represents over 90% of planted vineyards although there are 12 native grape varieties allowed to be planted here, both white and red. Some new plantings are being trained to double curtain. There are over 1200 acres of organic vineyards, a testament to Albariño rot-resistance.