Green Spain or known to the Spanish as Espana Verde and is located in the northern region in Galicia. It is called Green because it is exposed to the Atlantic Ocean and has a wet, moist climate. The precipitation is much higher than in most of the other regions of Spain. Reminiscent of Ireland, an immigrant colony of Celts influence the culture of the region. The proximity of the region to Portugal to the south and the mountains to the north pretty much isolates Green Spain and so the wine from this region is largely influenced by Portugal.
The regions closer to the Minho River tend to produce blended wines like Loureira, Albarino and Caino Blanca. Other whites from the region are blends of Torrontes and Treixadura. The light red wines are made from the Mencia grape.
There are no defined regions that separate north from south. Provinces of Auturias, Cantabria, Galicia, Basque Country, Navarre and Castile Leon are all considered Green Spain.
Albarino is one of the more successful grapes in the region of Rias Baixas. They have focused their production on that grape. One of the main reasons is the success and popularity of Albarino. The United States is one of the largest importers for Albarino wine. The Bierzo region is known for their high quality winemaking. The difficult steep slopes and the labor involved make these wines more expensive. The Mencia vines are found on these mountainsides. Mencia is also found in the Valdeorras region who also produces Moscatel, Palomino and Garnacha but the grape Godello is their award winning grape. Basque Country is known for it’s great food also produces a rich, sharp wine that compliments seafood dishes.
Due to the climate of this northern region known as Green Spain, their wines tend to have very aromatic qualities. The cool misty climate makes for early ripening grapes and most of the wines from the region have a great bouquet, light, crisp and delicious.
Some Wines From Green Spain:
- La Cana Albarino 2009 from the Rias Baixas region and scored high 90+ Points and is light and crisp.
- Montecillo Verdemar Albarino 2009 is also from the Rias Baixas region. Clear and bright in fruit, this is a flavorful wine.
- Martin Codax Albarino 2008 is from Rias Baixas and has a fine sparkling sensation on the palate.