D’Amato & Szabo: Wine Thieves – Season 2, Ep 1: Rias Baixas: Reaching for Sunlight

Reaching for Sunlight
Welcome back and thank you for joining us for another season of Wine Thieves! We’re off to a fresh start with our latest series in which we  explore albariño, seaside vineyards and fresh Atlantic wines as we travel through the diverse wine-growing region of Rias Baixas. This small corner of northwestern “Green Spain” in the region of Galicia has emerged over the last couple of decades as a premier source of fresh, crunchy, salty wines that are mainly, but not exclusively, white. This first episode in the series will give you all the relevant background to the Denomination of Origin Rias Baixas and its wines, and includes an interview with winemaker Katia Alvarez, chief winemaker at Martìn Codax, one of the region’s largest and most recognized producers around the globe. The winery is based in the sub-region of the Val do Salnès, the largest of the 5 subregions of Rias Baixas.  

The coastal landscape of Rías Baixas features a series of spectacular jagged inlets and shallow fjords known as “rias”, hence the name Rías Baixas, which means literally the “lower rias”, or lower estuaries”.  The D.O. Rias Baixas encompasses over 4000 hectares of vineyards,  split into 5 sub-zones according to their topography and proximity to rivers and the sea. Although over 99% of all wine produced in Rías Baixas is white, differences in microclimates, terroir and grape varieties in the five sub-zones, as well as different winemaking techniques, make for impressive diversity. Styles range from crisp, aromatic citrusy and saline  in Val do Salnés, to the peachier, softer style in O Rosal, and a less fruity, some say earthier style in Condado do Tea.

Grab your map and your glass as we explore the remarkable hillside and terraced vineyards of Rias Baixas, discuss the traditional pergola system called “parra”, learn why yields are so low, what wine style to expect from each subregion, how salty sea air affects coastal vineyards, and  how hydric stress can occur in a rainy climate.

Episode sponsored by the D.O. Rias Baixas

rias baixas