Paladar y Tomar Rias Baixas and Ribeira Sacra wine tour surpasses the limits. St. James in Santiago de Compostela is not the only shrine as there is a new pilgrimage in northwest Spain prompted by the excellence of its wines. Highly charismatic and driven producers are putting Galician wines on the map, and the heroic viticulture from Ribeira Sacra surpasses natural laws.
The DO Rias Baixas was established in 1984. Its main activity is the production of white wines with the albariño grape. It’s believed that the albariño grape was brought to Spain by the Cistercian monks of the Monastery of Armenteira during the 12th century. DO Rias Baixas is located in the southwest of the Pontevedra province, and the area takes the name from the five estuaries along the coast: Ría de Concubión, Ría de Muros e Noia, Ría de Arousa, Ría de Pontevedra and Ría de Vigo.
The steep terrain present around the Sil Canyons forces vintners to reap the grapes with an added difficulty apart from the inability to use machines. This process of harvesting grapes is known as ‘heroic viticulture‘. The production area of the DO Ribeira Sacra covers regions of great wine tradition, which includes 19 parishes and local councils. Grapes are cultivated on the steep and sunny slopes located along the banks of the rivers Miño and Sil, in the south of Lugo and the north of Ourense. The vines grow on terraces next to the rivers and under the protection of forests and ancestral shrines and Romanesque monasteries, which keep the history and knowledge of this land alive.
You cannot miss Santiago de Compostela and its famous Cathedral, the goal of all Jacobean Pilgrimage Routes, and the four squares surrounding it: Obradoiro, Quintana, Praterías and Immaculada. The spectacle of Botafumeiro, conducted at Friday evening Masses at the Cathedral, really worth a visit. Cape Finisterre, a getaway to the World’s end! In Roman times it was believed to be the end of the known world and it is sometimes said to be the westernmost point of the Iberian Peninsula.
Galicia has remained too long an untapped culinary treasure, probably because the region is difficult to get to. In words of José Andrés, “the cooking is pure. For the dishes to work, the ingredients have to be fantastic.” Galicia is one of the best fishing spots and its seafood is internationally acclaimed.
DAY 1 SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA
Private transfer to Santiago de Compostela and check in at A Quinta da Auga, Relais et Châteaux.
In the afternoon, Santiago's soaring architectural magnificence can be appreciated in a private-guided visit of the city in a 4 hours tour through the most magical places. Visit the Cathedral and you will be able to access its roofs, where you can see the city at its best, and access its spectacular archaeological excavations. The Botafumeiro spectacle will be seen every Friday at 19:00 at the Masses of the Cathedral and in specific religious dates. Continue your tour visiting the Palace of Xelmírez as well as the historic town with its cobbled streets, manor houses and stately homes before heading up to the local market. The market preferred day are Saturdays, when women from outlying villages come to sell their garden vegetables and home-made cheeses. Here you can immerse yourself in the local culture and customs as well as its wonderful cuisine.
DAY 2 RÍAS BAIXAS
This morning we'll head to Rías Baixas, homeland of the fresh white albariño. Sun is limited so rather than power, the wines of Galicia display a lively freshness and considerable elegance.
The production area in DO Rias Baixas is divided in five sub‐zones: Val do Salnés, Condado do Tea, El Rosal, Sotomayor and Ribera del Ulla. All of these have similar climatic conditions, mainly Atlantic with mild temperatures and quite a lot of rainfall. The grapes used for white wines are Albariño, Loureira Blanca, Treixadura, Caiño blanco, Torrontés and Godello and for red wines we find Caiño tinto, Sousón, Espadeiro, Loureira tinta, Brancellao, Mencia and Pedral. Due to its characteristics, these wines harmonize perfectly with seafood, flagship product in the local cuisine. You'll visit 3 to 4 extraordinary wineries and stop for lunch at Cambados at the Michelin starred restaurant Yayo Daporta.
Back to Santiago late in the afternoon, free evening.
DAY 3 RIBEIRA SACRA
Today is time for heroic wines. Perched on precipitous slopes at altitudes of 800 meters or so, around 2,600 feet, these are among the most strikingly beautiful vineyards in Europe. With a strong "minerality", vine from Ribeira Sacra grow on terraces next to the rivers and under the protection of forests and ancestral shrines and Romanesque monasteries, which keep the history and knowledge of this land alive. You'll visit 3 to 4 wine estates in exclusivity and lunch is foreseen at one of the wineries.
You can travel through the spectacular environment of the Canyons of the Sil by private boat (ask us for arrangements).
Back to the hotel in Santiago, free evening.
DAY 4 FINISTERRE & COSTA DA MORTE
Being at the End of the World, Finisterre, is an unparalleled experience. Once on the coast it pays to explore more of it. Galicia has more than 700 miles of Atlantic border and the same number of beaches. North of Finisterre the coastline is infamous for its treachery and is often called the Costa da Morte. The sight of the ocean snarling in all its fury is a compelling one. You will also visit the beautiful waterfall of Ézaro, the Carnota Beach and the Monte Pindo.
Lunch will be arranged in a fishing village with a menu based on fresh fish and the most amazing seafood you could ever imagine. Of course, you'll pair them with the local greatest white wines!
Back to Santiago, farewell dinner at Filigrana restaurant by Federico López Arcay at the hotel.
DAY 5 SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA
Private transfer to next destination or airport at the appointed time.
All activities will be adjusted to your schedule.
Wineries can vary in accordance to your schedule.
Might you wish to extend your journey or add any specific activity, please let us know and we will assist you.
We care about your privacy, please let us know what is your perfect balance between free time and activities and we will adjust the program to suit you.
Prices are available upon request since each itinerary is different and adapted to your party details, needs and schedule.
- 4 nights accommodation (B&F) at Relais et Châteaux in Santiago de Compostela
- Private expert bilingual local native official expert guides during all visits
- All visits and walking tours customized and scheduled
- 1 gourmet dinner at Filigrana by Federico López Arcay - Relais et Châteaux
- 1 dining experience at a 1-Michelin starred restaurant Culler de Pau, by Javier Olleros
- 1 gourmet lunch at 1-Michelin star Yayo Daporta by Yayo Daporta
- Traditional dining experiences as scheduled in your tailor-made program
- 2 full day private wine tours in Rías Baixas and Ribeira Sacra with exclusive wine tastings
- 1 full day tour in Cape Finisterre & Costa da Morte
- Luxury private chauffeured-service
- Admission fees and taxes
- Transfers from/to the airport or city of origin, to be scheduled
- Personal purchases