Rías Baixas, located in Spain’s northwest region of Galicia, is renowned for the Albariño grape variety. It produces a vibrant, refreshing white wine that is synonymous with luxury for wine lovers. Jetsetters who visit this Atlantic coastal region savor the Albariño wines of Rías Baixas and a range of culinary delights at local wineries and restaurants, including many with the coveted Michelin star. Like Napa Valley, it’s not just the exceptional wines and food that bring people to Rías Baixas. Travelers also indulge in hydrotherapy spas, coastal trails and a breathtaking landscape that is beyond Instagram-worthy.
Galicia is often referred to as “Green Spain,” and its superstar wines share the same mineral-rich soils and cool climate as the world's other renowned white wine-producing regions, including France's Loire Valley, the Rhine region of Germany and New Zealand. The name Rías Baixas is Galician for the multiple “Rías”, similar to Norway’s fjord-like estuaries; mixing saltwater from the Atlantic coast with fresh river water, these “arms” of the sea support a rich coastal culture and contribute to the distinctive geography.
Rías Baixas Albariño is celebrated as one of the finest white wines in the world. It offers exceptional fruit and floral aromas and flavors, distinct minerality and pairs perfectly with the region’s abundance of seafood, which includes octopus, mussels and langoustines. Locally, the wines also match up with premium-quality beef, pork shoulder, cheese, peppers and potatoes. Travelers on the official Rías Baixas Wine Route can book winery visits and packages including exclusive lunches, dinners and visits. Some of the many award-winning restaurants along the way include: Maruja Limón in Vigo; Culler de Pau in O Grove; Yayo Daporta in Cambados; and Casa Solla and Pepe Vieira in Poio.
Now that you’ve taken care of nourishing your insides, it’s time to provide some equal pampering for your skin. The ancient city of Pontevedra has an ample supply of mineral and medicinal waters, with a deep-rooted tradition of hydrotherapy dating back to the Romans. The thermal towns of Mondariz, Illa da Toxas, Cuntis and Caldes de Reis have preserved this legacy with a range of wellness treatments—including anti-stress, beauty and weight loss—in addition to cultural and gastronomic experiences among spectacular natural surroundings.
No Galician journey would be complete without some outdoor adventure, and sailing along the Atlantic is one of the most popular ways to take everything in. You can charter a private excursion to discover the region by sea or book a longer trip that includes stops for winery tours, onboard cooking classes and Chef meals. For those seeking enlightenment, a walk along the Camino de Santiago, or the Way of St. James, is a must. In addition to the breathtaking vistas of the Galician countryside, the six inland or coastal routes you can follow feature the ideal combination of culture, heritage, nature and culinary experiences. Along the journey, many notice the strong Celtic influence when they see the architecture and hear the sounds of bagpipes—just one of the region’s timeless discoveries.
For more information about Rías Baixas Wines visit riasbaixaswines.com and connect with us @RiasBaixasWines on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. You can also find a range of Rías Baixas Albariño locally at Mega Wine & Spirits and Crown Wine & Spirits, just in time for pulling together a fabulous holiday soirée!
Photography by: Courtesy of Rías Baixas Wines