On this tour we take you to one of the oldest wine making areas in Europe, with deeply rooted traditions, gorgeous landscapes and some of the best food in Spain.

We know from the writings of the Greek geographer and historian Strabo that Ribeiro wine was already being made here in the second half of the second century BCE and that it was served at the Emperor’s table in Rome.Leaping forward in time to the middle ages, we learn that monks of the Cistercian order at the Monastery of San Clodio were so convinced by the superb quality of the native grape varieties they found here that they set about planting and replanting vines, increasing production to the point where they were able to export, via the Camino de Santiago, in great part thanks to the many Jewish merchants that lived in Ribadavia before their tragic expulsion from Spain in 1492. Read full story
Itinerary

After picking you up from Santiago de Compostela airport we’ll drive down to our wine estate hotel near Ribadavia.

After checking in we’ll taste some of their superb Ribeiro, have a few tapas and visit the vineyard and cellars.

After that we’ll visit Ribadavia for a tour of its Barrio Judío or Jewish Quarter, having dinner at one of town’s premier restaurants.

After breakfast we’ll head for Portugal, just thirty minutes away, visiting the winery of one the greatest winemakers in the country where we’ll taste a number of red and white wines.

After the winery we’ll have bacalao or cod for lunch, a dish considered a part of Portugal’s DNA that draws the faithful from far and wide, including Spain.

After that we’ll head back to our hotel for a siesta and then meet up again in the evening for dinner at another top eatery in the Ribadavia area.

The day kicks off with a guided tour of the ancient Cistercian Abbey of Santa María Real de Oseira where we’ll taste Eucaliptine, a liqueur made by the monks here.

After that we’ll head for our next vineyard, a small producer whose Ribeiro took the top prize at the Ribeiro Wine Fair this year.

Parts of this winery date back to the 12th century.

Lunch will be in Ribadavia old town, followed by a rest at the hotel.

Early evening we’ll have dinner in one of Galicia’s glorious pazos or mansion houses.

A mid-morning start as usual, calling in on our final winery of the tour, a historic winery belonging to one of the founders of the Ribeiro appellation and now in the very capable hands of the next generation.

After that we head downstream for the gastronomic climax of the tour.

From the middle of January to the middle of April, the Condado do Tea stretch of the Miño attracts gourmets from all over Spain. The villages of Arbo and As Neves become the focal point of a ‘gastronomic exaltation’ of the Sea Lamprey. Galicia and the Bordeaux region of France are the last strongholds in continental Europe for a delicacy that was once served at the Emperor’s table in Rome.

At other times of the year, the same restaurants serve other regional dishes such as roast suckling lamb, kid goat, wild boar and freshwater fish such as fried trout and eel.

Lamprey is very filling and requires a period of ‘repose’ afterwards, so our dinner will be a light, tapas based meal in Ribadavia.

After a leisurely breakfast we’ll take you to the airport for your onward journey.

Tour details
  • Duration: 4 days
  • Price: From 450€ per person per day
  • Tour dates: October to May, 1st and 4th week of every month (Wed-Sun).
  • Minimum age is 18 years
  • Min. group size is 8, max. group size is 16
  • If your party is smaller, an alternative itinerary is available upon request.
What travelers say

“A hidden wine-making tradition in Spain. Galicia, famous for its Albariño wine, is full of vineyards large and small. Adrian was a wonderful, knowledgeable guide. As a Knight of Cambados and Barrantes, he is uniquely qualified and familiar with the culture, customs, traditions and people of the Rias Baixas, as well as their wine making techniques. I highly recommend this tour and can’t wait for the next one!”

Giancarlo & Ligia Bertaina
Miami, FLA. USA

What´s included
  • 4 nights in a standard double room.
  • Breakfast every morning
  • Return transfers from Santiago de Compostela airport to your hotel.
  • All transport
  • Three lunches and four dinners including all host ordered wine.
  • All guided winery visits plus tastings.
  • All entry fees in museums, national parks and monuments.
Photographs of the tour

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Ribeiro, a wine as old as a continent

Thankfully, the legacy of the Jews of Ribadavia remains to this day and can be seen in the houses they left behind and also in the Festa da Istoria with people dressing in medieval costumes exchanging their euros for maravedís and staging a medieval Sephardic wedding.

In the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries Ribeiro was exported to all the corners of the Spanish Empire and beyond. Great Britain was one of the most important markets in Europe, followed by Portugal, France and Italy. In the late 19th century disaster struck with the dreaded Phylloxera, a sap-sucking insect related to the aphid. They had arrived on a shipment of vines from the USA and in a short space of time had devastated most of Europe’s vineyards.
Drastic measures were required to combat the plague, which involved the wholesale planting of vastly inferior high yield grape varieties from other parts of the country and grafting native variety scions onto American, Phylloxera resistant rootstocks. Mass emigration drove the final nail in the coffin and it wasn’t until the mid-50s, with the founding of the

Some historians claim that Ribeiro was the first wine to reach America onboard one of Columbus’s ships, La Santa María, believed to have been built in a Galician shipyard. The history of Galicia and America is deeply entwined. On March 1st 1493, Martín Alonso Pinzón docked in Baiona, bringing news of the discovery of a ‘New World’ across the Atlantic Ocean.

Consejo Regulador or appellation that the long road to full recovery began. Today Ribeiro is consistently winning awards at all the world’s major wine fairs and once again taking its rightful place on the world wine stage.

Authorized white varieties, which represent 85% of the total production of the appellation, include Treixadura, Torrontés, Godello, Albariño, Lado, Albilla and Macabeo. Red varieties, which account for just 15%, are Sousón, Brancellao, Caíño Longo, Ferrón, Mencía, Garnacha Tintorera and Tempranillo. The local gastronomy is truly excellent, with pulpo á feira (octopus) and bacalao (salt cod), eel, trout, lamprey, game dishes, empanadas (meat or fish filled pies) all taking center stage, depending on the season. We aim to show you the very best of Ribeiro on this four day tour which will also include a visit to Melgaço, a subzone of Portugal’s Vinho Verde appellation. Our accommodation for the tour will be a gorgeous wine estate dating back to the 17th century. The winery here consistently produces one of the top wines in the region.