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This haunting dry white from Galicia in north-west Spain is great value even if not cheap. Ribeiro is inland from the much better known Rias Baixas on the Atlantic coast. Most vineyards overlook one of Ribeiro's three rivers, Coto de Gomariz's 27 hectares of vineyards overlook the river Avia.
The soils here are dominated by schist, granite and sand, which, together with unusually low yields, are a major factor in the concentration and tension in this wine. But there is also the strong personality of the local grape varieties. Coto de Gomariz Ribeiro Blanc is made up of about 70% Treixadura with a blend of the other Galician varieties Godello, Loureira and Albariño. This is a white wine that is really persistent and yet is much more refreshing than the average medium-bodied dry white.
September 2012 Wine Club Selection
Located in the Ribeiro region in Galicia, Coto de Gomariz is made up of several vineyards covering a total of about fifty acres in the districts of Gomariz, Vieite, Esposende and Beade.
In 1979 the Figueiral estate was recovered and became the first of the properties to be included in the Coto de Gomariz vineyard terrain. This marked the first step towards restoration of the native Ribeiro varieties, including the white Albarino, Treixadura, Loureira and Godello varieties, as well as the red Sousón, Ferrol, Mencía, Brancellao and Caiño Longo.
Ribeiro has a long tradition of producing and exporting wine from the Galician Atlantic ports. It is believed that the first vineyards were planted by the ancient Romans. From the Middle Ages up to the 18th century the area was renowned for its sweet wines (vinos tostados), which were produced here long before they were produced in the Canary Islands or in Andalusia. They were made from sun-dried grapes and were known as Ribadavia. They were drunk by the pilgrims passing through the area on their way to Santiago. Significant quantities of white fortified Ribadavia wines were exported to England in the 17th and 18th centuries.