Albariño Festival in Puerto Rico
30 Sep 2016
A Pop-Up Caribbean Home for Rías Baixas Wines
This October the wines of Rías Baixas will find a new house in San Juan.
Author: Rosa María González Lamas©ICEX
More than 30 wine labels and 27 wineries will be the stars of the First Albariño-Rías Baixas Festival of Puerto Rico, an event that will welcome for the first time to this Caribbean Island the DO Rías Baixas Regulatory Council for a week-end-long educational series around the largest showcase of wines from this Galician wine designation in Puerto Rico.
Ramón Huidobro, Secretary General of the Council, will lead the educational tastings about Rías Baixas wines that will be held at The House wine store on October 22nd and 23rd. This is the first time such a large number of labels from this wine producing region famous for the excellence of its Albariño grape will gather at a single event in Puerto Rico, and also the first an Albariño-focused event is held on the Island, a collective effort in the advancement of wine culture in Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico is the fourth international market for the wines of Rías Baixas. More Albariño wines from this designation are sold in Puerto Rico than in México, a country with a considerable larger population. In spite of its economic crisis, in 2015, sales of Rías Baixas wine in Puerto Rico grew by 41.6%. In 2015 the wines of Rías Baixas represented 13.9% of the sales of wines from Spain in Puerto Rico.
Five educational tastings will constitute the core of this series in which participants will be able to taste a minimum five labels per tasting, and learn about a variety of topics, such as the wine producing territory and its traits, the white and red grape varieties used in the wines of Rías Baixas, the climate, the array of vinification styles from young and crisp to sparkling and long-aged wines, the versatility of the Albariño grape, its gastronomic aptitudes, and historical aspects, among many things.
In addition to the large offer of Albariño and Rías Baixas DO wines available in the Puerto Rican market, during the two-day educational series there will also be some labels not available on the Island, which some wineries have sent directly from Spain, exclusively for the tastings. These include sparkling and red wines.
The tastings comprise subjects as “The Magical Flair of Albariño Pazos,” “Rías Baixas: Grapes, Climate and Terroirs,” and “Albariño: The Many Styles of One Grape Variety.” There will also be food and wine pairing sessions with sushi or Puerto Rican fritters.
Complementing the educational tastings, throughout the Festival’s two days, visitors will also be able to enjoy in-store tastings, during certain hours a day.
This Festival is a joint initiative of The House, Viajes & Vinos, and the Rías Baixas Regulatory Council, with the aim of advancing wine culture in Puerto Rico, a market where consumers have a high regard for the wines produced from Albariño, their preferred white grape.