Albariño, thought to be indigenous to Galicia, is the foundation of Rías Baixas wine production, representing 92% of plantings.
Terroir & Vineyards
The fruit for Don Olegario Albariño comes from a single 12.4-acre vineyard farmed according to the principles of “integrated production” in the Rías Baixas subzone of Val do Salnés.
Here, 30-year-old vines grow on high pergolas in sandy and granite soils with good drainage and east and west exposures. Indigenous herbs are planted among the vines for favorable drainage in the area’s wet conditions.
Sustainable winegrowing is used, with organic compost; leaf and crop thinning are employed when necessary.
Rías Baixas and Val do Salnés
Rías Baixas is one of the coolest areas of Spain, and by a substantial margin the wettest. Rainfall averages 55 inches a year but can be considerably higher along the coast. Summer lasts a short two months. Ripening and mold are therefore both problems, addressed in large part by training the vines on pergolas, which maximize sunlight exposure and allow circulation of air from Atlantic breezes around the grape clusters. Average yield in the appellation is a scant 27 hectoliters per hectare.
Lying directly on the Atlantic coast, Val do Salnés covers 3,150 acres and is the subzone with the greatest area under vine. Its topography rises from the coastline at Val do Salnés, at sea level, to a rugged, hilly interior reaching 750 feet above sea level in the southern subzone of Condado do Tea. The subsoil is characterized by a famous pink granite whose density forces the vine roots to grow deep into the ground for water and nutrients.
The Albariño Grape
Albariño, thought to be indigenous to Galicia, is the foundation of Rías Baixas wine production, representing 92% of plantings. Val do Salnés is planted almost exclusively to Albariño and was the first of the five subzones to focus on pure varietal Albariño wines produced in a fresh, modern style. The region’s mild weather promotes large bunches, and fine weather in late summer allows the fruit to ripen fully. The grape’s thick skin resists the damp climate and results in flavorful, rich wines.