Buenas dias todas,
For more mornings than I care to think of, central Galicia is shrouded in fog, or cloud, or more commonly both high fog and low cloud.
The river canyons fill with fog, which occasionally escapes and rampages silently over the fields above.
We who live ‘above’ are ever so slightly smug, with our cooler air and bright mornings. On a typical trip down to Monforte de Lemos, we reach the crest of an escarpment and look down upon a sea of shining cloud. If we are really lucky, the Parador of Monforte rises from it and if you are really lucky, I’ll remember to take a photo of this.
On days like today, dull and damp, we have no reason for smugness. We are in the low clouds. Visibility is dire and it can be rather surprising to open the front door to see well, little except the misty street lamp.
The centre of Galicia is split by two great river canyons. The Miño, which runs largly north to south, is picturesque, yet dramatic. Its banks are steep, but heavily wooded.
The other river, the Sil is also dramatic, but its cliffs are higher and steeper than the Miño. It runs east to west, for a while, before joining with the Miño at Os Peares (Los Peares).
Both river canyons are home to vineyards. Recently, amphoras were discovered on a Roman ship, with markings from Amandi and other wine producers. Okay, so the Romans enjoyed the Sacred Ribena as well – and why not? It’s wonderful stuff. Shame no one can buy it in the UK, although wine tasters are slashing their way through the Galician undergrowth to discover the hidden world of the Ribeira Sacra.
Well actually, you can go to a beautifully restored shop in Monforte de Lemos and taste as much wine as you want. They stock it all and there is a wine museum. Careful though, it’s not always open.
One of my favourites is 1985. I can remember buying a bottle at Santiago de Compostela airport (Lavacolla – hah, hah – wash bollocks!) and sitting in our favourite holiday cottage and waxing lyrically about how wonderful to find a wine that was made when we were married and how amazing that it’s less than 12 euros..Yeah, right. 1985 is the name of the Bodega, or as its known here, the Adega. It’s good stuff though.
In my opinion, the wines from the right hand side of the Miño (the Chantada side) are more subtle, with less intense fruit, but longer legs..whatever…
The wines from t’other side are a more in-your-face, full-on blast of alcoholic ribena. A Cova is the most advertised and also pretty pricey.
I don’t know the mix – Mencia and Granache are usually blended, but not always.
It’s too early to think about wine, so more on this another day and maybe even photos, if I can remember to turn them into jpegs.
Right now, the sun is trying to break through, sending the low cloudy fog into a ‘don’t kill me’ panic. I swear it’s trying to break through the walls. It’s certainly coming down through the floor boards above me.
Am I scared?
I’m cold though. Time to go and defrost my hands.