Cambados crowns the king of white wines

Thousands of visitors participate every year in the fair known as Festa do Albariño in Cambados, considered one of the most important wine events in Spain. In addition, this year, this town in O Salnés has been declared the European Wine City, and this will be translated into more activities, more suggestions, and more wine tourism; in a word: more Cambados

In a few days, the town will host an unprecedented event in the history of the wine fair. This year, one of the most awaited celebrations in As Rías Baixas will be marked by the commemoration of the designation of Cambados as the European Wine City, although this has been noticed since the beginning of the year through a great variety of promotional activities. This is the oldest Spanish wine fair, after the Vendimia de Jerez (Harvesting Festival of Jerez), and it was also the first one held in Galicia. Nowadays, it is the most important wine festival in Spain.

The poster of this 65th Festa do Albariño, designed by Beatriz López León, from Madrid, makes a reference to this recognition. The design, highlighting the pazo (Galician manor house) in Fefiñáns Square as the most representative attraction of the capital of the albariño wine, was chosen among the 59 works which participated in the contest. From the 2nd to the 6th August, wine will take centre stage in a Festival of National Tourist Interest enjoyed and acclaimed by thousands of visitors.

The programme to promote the king of the white wines is not closed yet, but some details have already been revealed, such as the appointment by the association Capítulo Serenísimo do Albariño of the Galician writer Nélida Piñón as Dame of the Order. The aim is to promote the most popular wine in Cambados through different personalities. It is important to emphasize that the Capítulo Serenísimo, founded in 1969, had already appointed figures such as Charles de Gaulle or Juan Domingo Perón as Knights of the albariño wine.

Dozens of winery stands in the pedestrian street A Calzada

Lots of wineries will present their selections under the Designation of Origin Rías Baixas to the visitors in the pedestrian street A Calzada. The event will combine this wine fair with a wide musical programme with renowned artists. This festival, consolidated in the 1980s, has always included top bands, such as Os Resentidos, founded by the versatile Antón Reixa. Thus, the cycle of concerts will begin on the 2nd August with Carmen París. The following day, the band Son de Seu will play, followed by The Waterboys and Best Boy on the 4th August. The British band, led by Mike Scott, will make a compilation of their long career by playing different styles, such as Celtic folk, gospel, country and rock. On Saturday night, the Fefiñáns Square will hold the concert of the Galician rock band Heredeiros da Crus, with a revival of their 25-year greatest hits. The Castrelo Orchestra will close the concerts programme on the 7th August.

The origins

The fair was born almost by chance. In 1953, Bernardino Quintanilla Álvarez and Ernesto Zárate challenged one another to compare their wines. They did it in a tasting-contest which, over the years, would give rise to a significant celebration with visitors coming from all over the world. The first poster of the fair would appear in 1958.

Cambados, birthplace of many artists, has always included the participation of a great number of intellectuals. In the late 1950s, Álvaro Cunqueiro read the opening speech before 300 people. Great personalities such as Torrente Ballester, Filgueira Valverde or Celso Emilio Ferreiro have also taken part in the event since then.

The Festa do Albariño was recognised as a Festival of Tourist Interest in Galicia in 1977, and in 1990 as a Festival of National Tourist Interest. Now, after the designation of Cambados as European Wine City this year, the next challenge for this symbol of wine tourism in As Rías Baixas is obtaining the international title.

A town with many possibilities

The Albariño Festival is a great occasion to discover the town. Among the different activities proposed, three of them stand out: visiting the Museo Etnográfico e do Viño (Ethnographic and Wine Museum) to immerse yourself in the traditional vineyards and to learn about their importance for the area of O Salnés; exploring the ruins of the cemetery of the Santa Mariña Dozo Church, a place which seems taken from a bygone era; or enjoying a glass of albariño wine paired with some delicious scallops, the key ingredient of the local cuisine, prepared following their own recipes.

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