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Spain excites with its cool-climate whites

UK buyers are embracing wines from Ribeiro and Ribeira Sacra in the search for new Spanish whites from Galicia.

Ribeira Sacra's terraced vineyards

Writing in the April edition of the drinks business, Lucy Shaw highlights the increased interest in the wines made from Godello, Albarino and also old vine Treixadura grown in northwest Spain.

“The terroir-driven Godellos from Guímaro in Ribeira Sacra are stunningly fresh and beautifully balanced,” comments Olly Bartlett, from Indigo Wine in the article.

Declared a DO 15 years ago, Ribeira Sacra takes its name from the medieval monasteries scattered on the valley sides, and is one of Spain’s most spectacular vineyard areas, with steeply terraced, low-yielding vines.

Ribeiro is another DO attracting interest, primarily for its different take on Albariño from Rías Baixas, due to its inland location.

Here, the late-ripening Treixedura is also proving alluring, and is applauded for its floral aroma, high acidity and textured character.

Richard Bigg, owner of Spanish restaurant Camino in King’s Cross, has, for example, added an old vine Treixadura by Casal de Arman to his list.

“Its citrus freshness, vibrant acidity and steely minerality goes wonderfully well with seafood,” he says.

Meanwhile, Marcos Fernandex, owner of Ibérica restaurant in Great Portland Street, sums up, “People are starting to explore beyond Albariño with Godello, Loureiro and Treixedura – it’s an exciting time for Spain’s cool climate whites.”

For a full analysis of Spain’s emerging wine regions see the April edition of the drinks business (pages 20-28).

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