Every Galician village and town hosts a special event, and in Salvaterra de Miño they are proud of hosting the second oldest food event in Galicia. The one on the top of this list is the Wine Festival in Cambados, which will commemorate in September its proclamation as the European Wine City 2017.
The Wine Festival held in Salvaterra de Miño in late August acts as the perfect warm up for that event, having another wine under the Denomination of Origin Rías Baixas as its protagonist: the one produced in the subarea of O Condado de Tea. Good wine may have been the reason behind the conquest of the town by the Portuguese in 1643. This dominion would last until 1659, when it was reconquered and incorporated in Galicia again. It was exactly 300 years later, in 1959, when the prospective mayor of the town returned to Galicia and created what today is known as the Wine Festival of O Condado de Tea.
History and wine
The society Hermandad de Labradores y Ganadería de San Lorenzo de Salvaterra de Miño a started a wine contest called Concurso-Certamen de Viños do Condado de Tea. This event, intended for tasting the wines produced by the small wine growers of the parishes of the area, used to combine wine and a dinner made from local products. Later, in the mid ‘70s, some cultural events, institutional ceremonies and a lunch open to the public were added to the programme.
In the 1980s, albariño wine started to be advocated as a specific denomination of origin, but it was not until 1988 when the first denominations in As Rías Baixas appeared to comply with European guidelines. Some of them were the ones of O Condado de Tea, O Val do Salnés and O Rosal, and later, Soutomaior and Ribeira de Ulla were also incorporated.
This subarea in As Rías Baixas is characterised by the valleys of the Miño and Tea rivers. The grapes produced there are a combination of local albariño and treixadura (a minimum of 70%).
The festival begins at the fortress on Friday 25th, at 8 p.m. and goes till Sunday 27th. However, you can take part in different tastings at the Doña Urraca Castle from Wednesday onwards. Inscription is necessary due to the high demand and the interest in the event.
The tasting on Saturday, held at 11 am, is intended for discovering the most delicious wines of the year, as it can be deduced from its official name: Cata Oficial á Procura dos Deliciosos (Official Tasting to Find the most Delicious Wines). Along the day, there will also be music and food; and the event will be completed with the concerts of Xulio Lorenzo and Luar na Lubre, starting at 11 p.m.
On Sunday morning, the different associations of wines gather in the town hall and there, the winners of the contest celebrated on the previous day will be announced. There will be a speech and after that, visitors can enjoy food and wine, and the performances of the different music groups. The festival, declared of Tourist Interest in Galicia in 2016, will come to an end with the concerts of Met and Like a Version, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Thus, a summer full of festivals in O Condado de Tea, the capital of the wine, finishes.
To see and do
Those who, apart from tasting these delicious wines, want to discover the town can walk along the 2-kilometre route Senda Fluvial do Miño , which goes until the Fillaboa Island. Not far from the island, they can find a medieval bridge and the pazo (traditional manor house) of Fillaboa. Moreover, visitors who are in the south of the province of Pontevedra for the first time can also follow the course of the Miño River until reaching Tui, only 25 minutes away, and there they can discover the beautiful Monte Aloia Natural Park. If there is enough time, they can also travel about 30 minutes towards the south to enjoy the views from the Trega Hill, visit the Celtic hillfort, the museum or the estuary of the Miño River on the border with Portugal.