Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Valdeorras, easternmost wine zone in galicia in north-west Spain (see map under spain). Steeply terraced vineyards are planted predominantly with inappropriate but productive vine varieties such as Garnacha Tintorera (alicante bouschet) and the white palomino. The indigenous white godello, which had all but disappeared from Galicia in the wake of phylloxera, is being aggressively replanted. This moderately productive variety is susceptible to disease, but Valdeorras is protected from the Atlantic by mountains immediately to the west. If carefully vinified, it can produce an aromatic wine with an alcoholic strength of 12 to 13%. In the late 1990s, some of Spain’s most acclaimed barrel-fermented whites were Godello wines from Valdeorras made by the Guitián family, who pioneered this style, now artfully practised by the likes of Rafael Palacios and Valdesil. The mencía grape, which makes fruity reds, is similarly respected by a new wave of producers in Valdeorras.