Ribeira Sacra is an area in inland Galicia, in Northwestern Spain. The D.O. was created in 1997, even though viticulture was first started by the Romans. It’s name “Sacra” or sacred comes from the large number of monasteries and other religious buildings that are located along the steep Mino and Sil river valleys. Religious institutions also replanted a majority of vineyards between the 8th and 12th centuries. The region is subdivided into 5 sub-regions and spans two provinces. The majority of vineyards are planted on steep slopes of the valleys and canyons, with slightly gentler slopes as you near the rivers.
Climate: The region offers elements of both Atlantic influence and Continental character. The Atlantic influence offers cloudy skies and more rain than inland Spain. The continental character impacts temperatures, which tend to be hot in the summer and early autumn.
Soil: Soils tend to be alluvial (gravel, sand and clay) with underlying slate. There are also some sites with granitic soils or bedrock.
Grape Varities: Key white grape varieties include Albariño, Godello, Treixadura, and Loureira. Key red grape varieties include Mencía, Merenzao, Brancellao, Garnacha, Tempranillo, and a handful of other local red grapes are also allowed. The majority of production is however composed predominantly of Godello, Albariño and Mencia.
Harvesting Terraced Vineyards of Menica by Boat
View of Terraced Vineyards overlooking the Sil River