Ultimate Guide to the Rias Baixas Wine Region

Rias Baixas Wine Region History and Culture

If you're looking for a long and colorful history of winemaking similar to that which you might find in France or Italy, you're out of luck. Rias Baixas is practically a newborn in comparison to the many established regions of wine's most popular countries.

The Celts settled the Rias Baixas region, and their influence is still felt today. Strains of Irish culture weave through the region, notably in the Celtic origin of Rias Baixas' parent region, Galicia. The region even enjoys such traditionally Irish fare as bagpipes and potatoes. However, it's not all Irish -- remember, Rias Baixas is in Spain. [source: Rias Baixas].

Though Spain's winemaking history dates back 3,000 years, Rias Baixas can't claim that history, even though the area was settled back in the 11th century [source: Rias Baixas]. Rias Baixas may have been making wine for a while, but like many Spanish wines, they weren't popular, known or liked outside of Spain. While other Spanish wines enjoyed popularity as the spread of Phylloxera wiped out the French vineyards during the mid-1800s, winemaking still wasn't a popular pastime within the Rias Baixas region [source: MacNeil]. And it's only been within the last few decades that winemakers in Rias Baixas began looking outside the reds, experimenting with the Albarino grape, and putting an emphasis on quality [source: Sbrocco].