DO Ribeiro is located in southern Galicia on the north-west edge of the province of Ourense where the valleys formed by the rivers Miño, Arnoia, Avia and Barbantino meet, creating an area of 30 square kms with 2,685 hectares of vineyards. There are indications that wines were produced in Ribeiro as early as 200 BC. Since then, winemaking has been a cultural and economic reference in this region, promoted by the Camino de Santiago. During the 16th century their wines achieved widespread recognition and the first steps were taken to guarantee quality. Records show that Ribeiro wines were exported all over Europe and especially to Great Britain. There is even documentary evidence showing that in 1592, 127 barrels of Ribeiro wine, costing 190 Reales, were loaded on board a ship at the port of Ferrol bound for America! DO Ribeiro, one of Spain’s oldest denominations, was officially recognised in 1933.
85% of the wine produced is white, mostly with the high quality native variety Treixadura as well as other authorised whites, Loureira, Albariño, Torrontes, Godello, Lado, Macabeo and Albillo. White Ribeiro is known for its freshness, elegance, subtlety and complexity, its slight acidity and fruity, floral characteristics plus a pleasantly smooth and delicate palate. Average yearly production stands at 14 million kilos of white grapes and 2 million kilos of red (Sousón, Brancellao, Caino and Ferrón). Vineyards in Ribeiro lie between 75 and 400m above sea level, several on steep terraces known locally as “localcos” or “bocaribeiras” which follow the contours of the land. The soils have a depth of between 70 and 100 cm of basically granite origin with a high content of stones and gravel which helps to improve the structure of the soil and reflects sunlight onto the vines. The area owes its distinctive climate to its sheltered position and its southern location in Galicia. The land is well protected by natural barriers from sub-Atlantic storms and enjoys an Oceanic-Mediterranean eco-climate, making it damp with mild temperatures at an annual average of 14.5°C. Average annual rainfall is 950mm, but the Mediterranean influence ensures that the average temperature may be twice as high during the summer months. This mixed Oceanic and Mediterranean climate allows the grapes to ripen while preserving their aromas and acidity.
Established in 1999, Bodegas Nairoa is a modern winery situated on the banks of the Arnoia river in a traditional manor house of Galician-style architecture. It was originally owned by Camilo Alberte, a small 'colleiteiro' producing top quality wines. After his death, the winery was bought by a group of neighbours and friends to carry on his good work. Each vintage undergoes a rigorous selection of high quality grapes and a traditional vinification using the latest technological advances. Nairoa produces “high expression” wines, personal, complex and harmonious, working closely with their native Treixadura, a fruity, floral variety with characteristics similar to the Albariño. The Nairoa vineyards, comprising 24 hectares in total, are located on the sunny slopes of the region of Arnoia at a medium altitude of 400 metres above sea level, where the granite soils and the Atlantic climate encourage the growth of healthy top quality vines. The low yields accentuate the varietal and the terroir characteristics. The oenologist is Serafín Medina.
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