I spent the day yesterday touring Ribeira Sacra, which is the Spanish Domination for wines in the Southern province of Lugo/North province of Ourense. German is launching his tourism company called WAG (We Are Galegos) and took us to sip delicious wine and liquors and see some incredible Galician views. The tour made me so incredibly happy to be living in Galicia. It’s so lush, green and beautiful. Just like home 🙂
First Stop: Bodega Vía Romana en Chantada (Lugo)
During our tour, we were able to see the different machines used to make the wine, how the packaging process works, and how wine is cleaned/stored. After the tour, we had the opportunity to try the wine. We tried a sweet red called Mencía. The vineyards of Ribeira Sacra are located on steep cliffs, making it very dangerous to pick the grapes needed for wine. Due to the dangerous terrain, the cosecheros (those who harvest the wines) must be capable of viticultura heroica, or heroic viticulture.
Second Stop: LUNCH!
After the bodega, German took us around Chantada so we could take some photos before lunch. I have been sick with a nasty stomach bug for over a week and was living off of very delicious diet consisting of soup, toast, and Aquarius (a sport drink which is similar to gatorade). I’m finally able to eat real food and was extremely eager to eat some bacalhau y pimientos (cod with peppers).
Third Stop: Emilio’s Basement
Our last stop before heading back to Santiago was visiting an 85 year old man named Emilio’s basement (yes, basement). Emilio makes fermented and distilled alcoholic beverages such as Aguardiente, Licor Café, and Hierba.
– Aguardiente: Also called Orujo. The name means firewater or burnt water (as it is usually over 50% alcohol). It’s a strong, clear alcohol – often poured into coffee.
– Licor Café: is a dark liquor with a coffee base, made by using Aguardiente.
– Hierba: I’m not entirely sure how hierba is made, but just like Licor Café, it is made by using Aguardiente and is a yellow-ish color.
Emilio also makes wine and a few other liquors but I don’t recall the name. However, all of them were very good (and very strong!) You can find these types of liquors in the bars, but they’re not nearly as good as Emilio’s. I ended up purchasing a bottle of Hierba and Licor Café, mmmm.