In last week post we have seen which wines and wineries we may try and visit when walking
the Camino Francés, in this post we will write about albariño wine and wineries on Camino
Camino Portugués or Portuguese way is the second most popular Camino de Santiago and you
can experience a more rural route starting in Lisbon (longer route) or in Porto(shorter route).
We will take the shorter route since there are plenty of wines and wineries to talk about.
Entering Galicia (Spain) and leaving Minho in Portugal, you will find Rias Baixas DO wine. In
Portugal “albariño” grape is chosen to make Vinho Verde . In Spain the same grape is chose to
make albariño wine. September is the perfect time of the year to watch the collecting of the
grapes and the locals making their own home-made wine.
The Camino de Santiago is thought to be directly linked to the origin of this grape since it is
said that the grape was brought to the region by German pilgrims from the Rhine on the route
to Santiago. In fact, some theories about the name of this grape is “Alba- rinho” that would
mean “the white of the Rhine”. Other theories say that the grape was brought by Cistercian
monks who lived in Burgundy and often made vineyards where they built their churches.
The albariño grape produces a special and unique white wine of which Galician people are
becoming proud. It has got a high acidity and interesting scent of fruits (some similar to peach
or apricot). The close proximity of vineyards to the coast (Atlantic Ocean) gives this wine a
certain taste of a slight salinity which makes it a perfect wine to be drunk with seafood.
In Portugal the wine from the albariño grape is bottled with some carbon dioxide giving a light
sparkling sensation. Although new versions of albariño wine are being made in Galicia as well.
Formerly, albariño was made in “barrica” (oak barrels), however, at present it is often
fermented in stainless steel to facilitate early drinking. Diversity and versatility of this grape
makes it easy to experience different fermentation techniques that result in wines of
wonderful complexity and aging ability. The soil in which vineyards are grown is also a factor
that determines its acidity and taste: sandy soils make a softer and rounder wine whereas a
granitic soil raises acidity and makes a more mineral-driven and structured wine.
Some of our choices are: Paco y Lola, Condes de Albarei and Martin Codax. If you are looking
for a small wine producer: Fulcro, Finca a Pedreira, Anadigna, Casal de Flores.
If you are walking your camino in September you cannot miss it. Yet, no matter which Camino
route you are walking you should not miss the chance to try an albariño wine as it is very
popular throughout the north of Spain and Portugal.
Enjoy your albariño wine!
Buen Camino, amigo!
Photo Source: Photo 1 http://www.alberguescaminosantiago.com
Photo 2 http://blog.wine.com
Photo 3 http://www.galiciaenpie.com/enoturismo
Photo 4 http://blog.supermercadosmas.com