Region: Rias Baixas
Terroir: The vineyards are located in the sub-zone called Condado de Tea; sandy soil with lots of pebbles and slate below; due to favorable orientation to the sun, La Val is usually the first to harvest in the region
Winemaking: Pergola trained 20+ year old vines; hand-harvested; de-stemmed and pressed in a pneumatic press; 48 hour maceration; no oak aging; aged on the lees and released in May/June the year following harvest
Located in Spain’s Rias Baixas region in the far north reaches of Galicia in the northwest of Spain, this region burst onto the scene in the 1990’s with its deliciously refreshing white wines. If you love Chablis, Sancerre, Sauvignon Blanc and the like, this is a perfect alternative! Great all on its own or with myriad seafood or shellfish dishes, lighter Asian or Thai, all types of salads and cheeses (especially Chevre or other goat cheeses) – and it won’t break the bank!
What makes this wine so good for the price?? First, Bodegas La Val was one of the first wineries in DO of Rias Baixas, established in 1985 (the region was only officially established in 1988!) Their wines are all from 100% estate grown grapes (very rare for the area – most buy grapes).
They own superb vineyard sites, 130 acres (53 hectares) planted mainly to Albariño, with some Loureiro and Treixadura. The vineyards are in three plots: Finca Arantei (35 hectares planted in 1989), Finca Taboexa (13 hectares planted in 1990) and Finca Porto (5 hectares planted in 2012), giving them relatively old vines in excellent terroirs in the Condado do Tea sub-region.
The vineyards are trained in the traditional pergola system – critical in the extremely humid and rainy climate, allowing for better air flow and ripening. This, combined with the micro-climate of the Condado do Tea region allows them to harvest earlier, missing many of the weather issues this maritime region can experience due to proximity to the Atlantic. They also exclusively use wild yeast for fermentations, and even their entry level wine is not rushed to the market, rather it is allowed to rest on its lees until ready for release. The result is a beautifully affordable, crisp and mineral wine that offers tons of pleasure! Stock up now! Cheers!