Tastings of Galician Wines and Spirits
Organized by the Consellería do Medio Rural, through the Galician Agency for Food Quality (Agacal), and with the collaboration of the Councils of the Appellations of Origin of Galicia, they are held annually the Tastings of Wines and Spirits of Galicia. An event that, from several decades ago, has recognized the secular knowledge of winemakers, as well as the peculiarities and value of the Galician wines and spirits, produced with grapes of native varieties mainly.
There are two different tastings: the Tasting of Wines and the Tasting of Traditional Spirits and Liquors – Leaves Liquor, Coffee Liquor, Aged Liquor and Age Leaves Liquors. About the wines, all those produced by wineries registered in the five Galician appellations of origin (Ribeira Sacra, Monterrei, Valdeorras, Rías Baixas and Ribeiro) can participate, as well as wines with a protected geographical indication.
Regarding to spirits and liquors, they must belong to industries registered in the registers of the Council of the Geographical Indication of the Trditional Liquors of Galicia.
The rigor and the level of this tasting is maximum, taking into account that, after registering and determining the number of participants, an exhaustive collection of samples is carried out.
This work, carried out by Agacal staff in collaboration with the wine and spirits regulatory councils, is carried out with all the guarantees of seriousness and rigor, guaranteeing at all times the anonymity of the participating brands.
In fact, it is not the winery that provides the organization with the sample to compete by sending it, but a special commission identifies and collects the wines and spirits of the registered lots, certifying that they comply with the requirements established in the bases.
Once the collection has been made, the samples will be evaluated by a blind tasting system, in charge of two tasting panels made up of professionals with extensive experience in sensory analysis, experts about the characteristics of Galician wines and spirits – members of the tasting panels of the different regulatory councils, representatives of the associations of oenologists, distributors, specialized journalists or restaurant professionals. They will be responsible for sensory analysis of the samples of traditional wines and spirits. The scores will be determined according to the tasting sheet of the International Organization of Vine and Wine – OIV – where the visual, olfactory, gustatory phase, harmony and global appreciation are taken into account. The final result will be the winners of each category.
Acios and Potes Awards
The Tastings of Galicia are an event of recognized prestige that seeks to identify, reward and publicize Galician wines and spirits that shine for their excellence. All of them represent the best of our viticulture and the Galician wine and spirits production industry. Undoubtedly, products endowed with a unique character and a praised personality inside and outside our borders, to which the Xunta de Galicia seeks to give visibility through their promotion. Thus, the awards ceremony materialize through a famous gala in which authorities, winners, the media and the most relevant figures of the wine sector at the regional and national level meet.
Acios, the awards of Wine Tasting
Meet the winners 2020
Acio to the best White Wine of Galicia
Acio to the best Red Wine of Galicia
But also, for each appellation of origin, three prizes may be awarded, as appropriate, depending on the number of samples presented in each category, —Golden Acio, Argent Acio and Bronce Acio with their corresponding diplomas— to the three best wines. , distinguishing white and red. In order for the contest to be held in each category, a minimum of ten samples is required, except in the case of ‘Viños da Terra’, ‘Ecological’ and ‘Toasted’ in which the minimum number will be five. The established categories are:
A.O. Ribeira Sacra Red Wines
A.O Ribeira Sacra White Wines
The Ribeira Sacra Appellation of Origin is located in a deep gorge carved by the impetuosity of the waters of the Miño and Sil rivers, in the south of the Lugo and Ourense provinces, with a landscape rugged mountains crowned by spectacular viewpoints. Specifically, it includes five subzones: Amandi, Chantada, Quiroga-Bibei, Ribeiras do Miño and Ribeiras do Sil. The Ribeira Sacra is wine, but also landscape, gastronomy and Romanesque Art. The terraces on which its vines grow, are the image of a way of life and the environment that frames it. The land admits little mechanization, so the work of the grape pickers is heroic and ‘in extremis’, entering into total balance with nature and with a thousand-year-old tradition to give us wines of the highest quality.
A.O Monterrei White Wines
A.O Monterrei Red Wines
In the land of castles, among great lineages and legends that outline the Magical Galicia, the Monterrei Appellation of Origin arises. The special microclimate of its production area, together with the soils, the grape varieties and the creativity of the winemakers, make their wines possess a marked personality and provide a delicious experience worth sharing.
The production area is located in the Verín region, in the south of the province of Ourense, and includes two sub-areas: the Monterrei Valley and the Monterrei hillside. The climatic conditions – low rainfall and high temperatures during the summer -, with values for both parameters quite different from those of other viticultural areas in Galicia, represent excellent circumstances for the development of the vines.
A.O Rías Baixas Red Wines
A.O Rías Baixas White Wines
The wines of the Rías Baixas Appellation of Origin can boast of their richness, not only for the aromas and flavors they convey, but for all the sensations and images they evoke. They are wines full of meaning that drink from the peculiarities of the Atlantic climate and the personality of a unique land on the coast. They bind in each drop the expression of the sea itself and manage to show notes that could reflect an authentic state of mind.
The Rías Baixas Designation of Origin encompasses five subzones: Condado do Tea, O Rosal, Ribeira do Ulla, Soutomaior and Val do Salnés. Most of them are located in the province of Pontevedra, except for the Ribeira do Ulla sub-area that extends part of its territory in the province of A Coruña. The peculiarities of the different soils of the geographical area, together with the climatic conditions, make up an area with favorable characteristics for the cultivation of the vineyard, obtaining a final product perfectly adapted to the environment, fruit of the vines that seem to descend from the immense salty waters .
A.O Valdeorras White Wines
A.O Valdeorras Red Wines
Located in the northeastern part of the province of Ourense, Valdeorras is shaped by a deep, fertile and luminous valley through which the river Sil runs in a stately way, author of a magical landscape of red and black lands, where the slate grows and is erect the vine, the chestnut or the olive tree. The Xares and Bibei rivers serve as a mirror for the eight municipalities that make up its production area: A Rúa, Carballeda de Valdeorras, Larouco, O Barco, O Bolo, Petín, Rubiá and Vilamartín. Here, men and women managed to unite efforts, secular tradition and modernity to maintain the origin and guarantee the quality of wines that are the maximum expression of the feeling of a land.
A.O Ribeiro Red Wines
A.O Ribeiro White Wines
Ribeiro wines are landscape and territory wines, traditionally made by wise blends of autochthonous varieties that give us their peculiarities to obtain authentic and genuine flavors. Wines with marked Atlantic lines, fresh, fine and elegant, tinged by a mild influence of the Mediterranean climate.
The Ribeiro Appllation of Origin is located on the northwestern edge of the province of Ourense and at the confluence of the valleys formed by the Miño, Avia and Arnoia rivers. A region located in a very particular area and of excellent aptitude for the cultivation of the vine, where the roots grow crossing the “saber”, in the form of terraces that struggle to gain ground in the hours of sun. The characteristic factor of the climatic transition together with the orientations and slopes of the vineyard, the use and mixture of local varieties and the type of soil, mark the Ribeiro style. Furthermore, the differentiation of the three valleys that make up the appellation of origin transforms the Ribeiro into a true mosaic of diversity.
“Colleiteiro” Wines and Small Wineries
All wines belonging to the different DOs existing in Galicia, which are made by wineries with a final production and bottling capacity of no more than 60,000 liters, can participate in this category. The wineries that register in this category must have their wines bottled and correctly labeled in order to obtain the sample that is submitted to the competition. When it comes to tasting and awarding the awards, white and red varieties are differentiated.
IXP Viños da Terra Wines
This category includes white and red wines covered by the four protected geographical indications in Galicia, namely: Barbanza and Iria, Betanzos, Ribeiras do Morrazo and Val do Miño Ourense.
Wines with Singular Varieties
Wines of singular varieties are considered those that, at least 85%, are made with any of the following grapes:
- White varieties: Loureira, Caíño Branco, Lado, Torrontés and Dona Branca.
- Red varieties: Merenzao, Brancellao, Sousón, Caíño Tinto, Espadeiro, Ferrón, Loureiro Tinto, Pedral and Castañal.
Previous Harvests Wines
This category includes all the wines that belong to the different Appelattions of Origin existing in Galicia, from harvests prior to 2019 and that in turn did not present elaborations with madeira. They must be bottled and correctly labeled to obtain the sample that is submitted to the contest. In this case, they differ when it comes to tasting and rewarding the white and red varieties.
Wines made with Wood
Within these categories will be included all the wines that belong to the different DOs existing in Galicia that, in some of their production stages, were in contact with wood. Thus, wines from the 2019 vintage and previous ones that meet this condition are admitted. In order to participate in it, they must be bottled and correctly labeled to obtain the sample that is submitted to the contest. White and red varieties will be distinguished.
With sparkling wines we refer to all those that will undergo a second fermentation in the bottle, with the specifications defined in the regulations of the corresponding denomination of origin. To be able to participate in this category, they must be bottled and correctly labeled to obtain the sample that is submitted to the contest.
Naturally sweet wines, in which the grapes will undergo a natural raisin drying with the specifications defined in the regulations of the corresponding denominations of origin.
In this case, we are talking about certified organic production wines from wineries registered in the register of the Regulatory Council of Organic Agriculture of Galicia and in the registers of existing wine appellations of origin in Galicia.
"Potes", the winners of the Traditional Spirits and Liquors Tasting
Galician Liquors (Aguardiente)
Different cultures and regions are associated with a drink that becomes a seal of identity, a brand of the territory itself. In Galicia it happens with its Bagasse brandy, protected by the Geographical Indication “Orujo de Galicia”, and made from bagasse and lees obtained from grapes harvested in the geographical area of the Galician Autonomous Community. This spirit drink is characterized by being colorless, translucent and clean. Its aroma is intense, fine and delicate. While the flavor refers us to the own of the raw material from which it comes.
Aged Galician “Aguardiente”
The galician “Aguardiente” can be subjected to an aging process, for which it must remain in wooden containers for a minimum period of one year. The aged spirits protected by the geographical indication Aguardiente de Galicia, on sight, are clean and translucent, with an amber-toasted color. Its aroma will be intense, fine, delicate, and may present memories of vanilla, spices and dried fruits and with an absence of humidity, a burning sensation, dirt and acetic notes. Regarding its flavor, it is reminiscent of the raw material of origin, with the presence of the characteristics perceived in the olfactory phase and those of natural aging.
Aguardiente de Hierbas de Galicia – Herb Brandy
Herb brandy is obtained from brandy protected by the Geographical Indication “Orujo de Galicia”, through the maceration and / or distillation of alcohol in the presence of the herbs that characterize it. A minimum of three species of plants are used in the production of Galician herbal brandy. The use of any species suitable for food use is allowed, among which are: mint, chamomile, lemon verbena, rosemary, oregano, thyme, coriander, orange blossom, fennel, licorice, nutmeg and cinnamon.
Licor de Hierbas de Galicia – Herb Liqueur
he Herbal Liquor is produced from bagasse brandy protected by the Geographical Indication “Orujo de Galicia” – at least 25% of the total alcohol – and ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin through the maceration and / or distillation of alcohol in the presence of the herbs that characterize it. A minimum of three species of plants are used in the elaboration of the Licor de Hierbas de Galicia. The use of any species for food use is allowed, among which are mentioned: mint, chamomile, lemon verbena, rosemary, oregano, thyme, coriander, orange blossom, licorice, nutmeg, cinnamon or fennel.
Galician Coffee Liquor
The Coffee Liquor is a spirit drink made from bagasse brandy protected by the Geographical Indication “Orujo de Galicia” —minimum 25% of the total alcohol— and ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin through maceration and / or distillation of the alcohol in the presence of coffee naturally roasted. The use of roasted coffee and the addition of any extract, concentrate or other substitute product for naturally roasted coffee is forbbiden.
If the category does not have at least five samples, it will not be held.