Galicia is a beautiful region in northwestern Spain that boasts landscapes filled with green valleys and amazing beaches. The region is known as the land of spas and hot springs. The final destination on the religious pilgrimage of Saint James, Santiago de Compostela lies in Galicia and is also the region’s capital. The region boasts dramatic cliffs and views such as A Costa da Morte. Several small towns and villages along the coast, as well as inland, are well worth a visit to explore their amazing traditions and delicious cuisine. Traditional dishes in Galicia include shellfish, veal, octopus with potatoes, gammon, a cured pork meat with turnip greens, or the almond tart known as “Tarta de Santiago”. The famous wines, Rías Baixas DO and Ribeiro DO are produced in this region and pair well with traditional local foods.
Galicia wine region is one of 17 regions of Spain, located in the north-west corner of the Iberian Peninsula. The region is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on two sides, to the south by Portugal and to the east by another Spanish wine region, Castilla y Leon.
House to six distinctive appellations
Primarily, there are six DOs(Denominaciones de Origen) in Galicia. It includes:
DO Ribeira Sacra
DO Rías Baixas
DO Viños da Terra
At the beginning of the 19th century, the whole Galician wine industry had gone through an economic crisis and until 1986, when Spain joined the EU and their involvement dramatically reshaped the Spanish wine industry. Most of the vineyard-zones are located south of Galicia in the regions of Ourense and Pontevedra. Significant vine cultivation can be seen in Lugo, east of Galicia.
A renowned appellation region, DO Rías Baixas, is the official home of the Albariño grape, a variety widely used to make delicious, crisp white wines. Along with that, Torrontés, Treixadura, and especially Godello dominate the DOs of Riberio and Monterrei. In 2016, vines were cultivated on about 10,000 hectares in Galician wine areas. Today, there are over 450 small and large wineries with around 16,400 registered vinegrowers.
The wines of Galicia enjoy a variety of soils, ranging from granite in Rías Baixas to slate in Valdeorras. Approximately 84,000 vineyard plots in Galicia are less than one hectare. Despite the challenges of smaller vineyard plots and less favourable climatic conditions, the region continues to produce top-notch wines in Spain.
A maritime climate dominates most parts of Galicia making it an impeccable region to cultivate crisp white varieties. One of the most vital varietals in the region is Albariño, a typical whitevariety which is both highly acidic and aromatic. In addition, Godello, Treixadura, and Loureiro are also widely grown throughout the DOs of Galicia.There is considerably more white wine grown in the region than red, although native red grape varieties still have a presence in the region.The typical reds include Mencía and Caiño Tinto, fermented in tanks to produce sour, medium-bodied red wines.
Red Grape Varieties
White Grape Varieties
What to Try in Galicia Wine Region
Galicia is a place best known for its premium wines, especially the fuller-bodied white wines. During your journey to one of the wineries of this beautiful region, you will understand the unique quality of the incredible white and red wines from Galicia.
We recommend trying Louro do Bolo Godello, a delicious white wine made from Godello paired with local seafood or handmade cheeses of the region. For a challenge to your taste buds sample a more crisp, acidic white wine with Pasos del Rey. Although many Galician wines may not be household names such as Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, you may fall for the tantalizing aromas and flavors of the region.
Losada La Bienquerida is a mouth watering, medium-bodied red wine made from Mencia that should definitely not be missed. The wine is laced with breathtaking aromas, diminished violet hues. Some other wines to try in Galicia are top-quality dessert and rosé wines, produced from indigenous grape varieties, aged in wooden oak barrels.
Wineries with open cellar door
Tasting a fragrant white wine or sipping a glass of luscious red wine while looking at the craggy cliffs, paired with lip-smacking seafood, is a perfect vacation anyone could even imagine. Get in here and visit some of the best wineries in Galicia to indulge in unforgettable wine tasting.
Family-owned winery located in Finca La Moreira In 1968 family converted tobacco drier into the cellar to produce wines. The philosophy of the company, that wines are mostly made in the vineyard rather than in cellar, emphasize greatly on agricultural practices.
Located by the side of the Atlantic Ocean, A Coruña is a medieval city that embraces long historical connections with fishing and commercial ports. During your stay in A Coruña, there are uncountable activities to take part in. Visit the Tower of Hercules, Finisiterrae Museum, and the medieval churches to capture the true essence of A Coruña. There are also several dishes and snack that a tourist should be sure to try on your adventure that honour a blend of tradition and innovation. Be sure to keep your eyes open for the opportunity to savour velvet crab, goose barnacle, spider crab, monkfish, grilled sole, and many more.
Saint Jacques de Compostelle – Journey of Mind & Soul
Discover the charms of the capital city of Galicia, Saint James de Compostelle, which holds deep spiritual significance to individuals all over the world. The site is a perfect blend of adventure and spirituality, where thousands of pilgrims pay a visit – some by foot and others by bicycle. Enjoy a wonderful gastronomic tour of this region where hundreds of restaurants and taverns are waiting for you to taste their traditional and innovative cuisines, seafood in particular. For hiking, fishing, and bike riding, St. Jacques provides an ideal atmosphere. Adventure lovers, we invite you to explore the outdoor wonders of the region.
Lugo – Discover the Roman Past
Pay a visit to Lugo and explore the history of Roman civilization through the Roman Baths, the Roman Wall, and the Roman Bridge. The Roman Wall is a part of the World Heritage Site and is a must-visit to learn about Roman culture and lifestyle. For foodies, Lugo is a perfect place to spend a holiday as it offers many traditional cuisines, such as Octopus á Feira, Carne ao Caldeiro, and luscious desserts of the region. A visit to Lugo Spa offers the opportunity to experience the renowned thermal springs and discover the therapeutic properties of the water. While heading north, you can visit charming seaside towns such as Viveiro and Foz, to witness the true beauty of the lush, green countryside.
For Nature Lovers
Parque Nacional Marítimo – Largest National Park
This natural reserve is the largest national maritime park in Galicia with so much to discover. Discover an incredible beachside experience along the coast of Galicia. Visit the Rhodas Beach, situated beautifully on Cies Islands. Visitors won’t be able to stop themselves from falling in love with crystal clear water and golden sand. There are several other islands in addition to Cies to explore which include Ons, Sálvora and Cortegada. Each island has something rare to offer, be it food, wine, beaches, or diverse flora and fauna. One dish common on all islands of Parque National Park is pulpo á Illa, a perfect boiled octopus cuisine that will help you to get your strength back.
Costa da Vela – Resonance of History and Nature
Nestled between Rias de Vigo and Pontevedra, exists a perfect example of the wonders of nature, a place one cannot afford to miss while in Galicia – Costa da Vela. Most of this region is dominated by seawater and pine groves with a spectacular view of the landscape. During your stay here, discover the Cabo Home Lighthouse, one of the highest spots in Galicia. Make time for the heavenly beaches of Negra and Barra, where you can enjoy sunbathing and snorkelling. Discover the ancient Castro and Celtic history by paying a well-guided visit to Monte do Facho.
Praia das Catedrais – Monument With Supernatural Dimension
Praia das Catedrais is a work of art, a natural monument that has shaped itself over the years in the presence of majestic sea and time. It is a must-included tourist spot on your trip. Get lost in the serenity of the beach and allow the waves at low tide to kiss your feet, indulging in the simple pleasures of nature. Discover domes and arches when creating memorable moments with family and friends. This place will give you a chance to get in touch with nature and its charms directly.
Regional Bites Of Galicia
Top-3 dishes you should try in Galicia
Have you ever experienced octopus melting in your mouth, allowing your tastebuds to reach new heights of taste sensation? Or lavish desserts, challenging the sweet and salty boundaries of your palate? To try some of the best typical Galician flavors take a dive into these three dishes.
Pulpo a la Gallega
This dish is a perfect description of Spain and Spanish cuisine. Pulpo a la Gallega is the signature cuisine of the Galician region. Made with simple ingredients, such as octopus, olive oil, paprika, and salt, Pulpo a la Gallega is one of the tastiest recipes in local seafood restaurants. On some menus the dish will be called, Pulpo a Feira, regardless of the name, the dish is not to be missed. This iconic cuisine is served on a thick wooden plate where boiled octopus is topped with thin slices of potatoes with a dash of salt and paprika. Pulpo a la Gallega is typically served on thin wooden cocktail sticks and eaten as a small tapa.
Caldo Gallego – White Bean Soup
In Galicia, warm soups reign supreme, one of the most famous ones is Caldo Gallega. It is a hearty Galician stew made up of cabbage, potatoes, white beans, and beef. Often various sausages and chorizo are added to enhance the smoky taste, keeping the original recipe of the traditional pottage alive. The dish is prepared in every house of Galicia during wet and chilly winters to stay warm. When ready, it is served in soup bowls, paired with red wine and crusty baguette bread.
Tarta de Santiago – A Spanish Almond Cake
One of the traditional Galician desserts, Tarta de Santiago, has a long history dating back to medieval pilgrimage times. The tart till this day, features the cross of St. James over the top. This highly-recommended dessert is kind of a sponge cake topped with powdered sugar. It is an easy-to-make cake, but you can buy it from any bakery while touring Galicia. Made with simple ingredients such as ground almonds, eggs, sugar, lemon, and cinnamon. Tarta de Santiago defines the traditions of Spain.
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Map of Wineries in Galicia wine region
Discover the long wine tradition of Galicia and discover some of the best wineries in this region
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