A fertile and rich land, a fantastic landscape, a millenary heritage and a deep-rooted culture passed down from generation to generation. All these elements make the province of Pontevedra a unique place for living unforgettable experiences with the seal of quality Rías Baixas
Fields for cultivation, rivers, woods and vineyards along the hillsides, plains and seaside areas produce the incredible raw material for the cuisine of this territory. Gastronomy is the common thread for a trip of flavours to be enjoyed with the five senses. Spas dating back to Roman times; stunning manor houses, some of them with Versailles-style gardens; the Route of the Camellia, the flower of As Rías Baixas; or a tour through magnificent monasteries in inland and coastal towns guarantee great experiences to visitors.
The province of Pontevedra enjoys a mild climate perfect for growing vineyards and producing wine under the Designation of Origin Rías Baixas. They are perfectly combined with the food products of this province. The wine tourism in As Rías Baixas is internationally renowned for its excellent wines and colourful vineyards grown in a magical landscape. The distillation of augardente and Galician liquors, a process very similar to wine production, has been a traditional practice linked to the grape harvest of these vineyards.
Both white and red wines are produced from the grapes of the Rías Baixas, but the white ones are the most noteworthy. The Albariño variety is the most famous of those under the Designation of Origin Rías Baixas. In the province, wine is produced in the regions of Val do Salnés, Condado do Tea, O Rosal, Soutomaior and Ribeira do Ulla.
The Route of Wine is an excellent opportunity to enjoy the wineries, vineyards and tourism establishments of the province and live unique experiences.
The green meadows, the environmental conditions and the typical orography of Galicia, and of the inland regions of As Rías Baixas, have favoured livestock production in this area. Here, the open-air raising and the suitable diet of the animals result in an excellent cow, sheep, poultry and pork meat.
The breed Rubia Galega is the native calf from northwestern Spain. The seal of quality Tenreira Galega identifies the excellence of this veal meat. Besides the Tenreira Galega, pork is also part of the cuisine of As Rías Baixas. Pork is present in a large number of local recipes, such as the cocido (Galician stew), nationally renowned in the town of Lalín; the lacón con grelos (salt cured pork shoulder boiled with turnip tops and potatoes); or the cold meat, such as the ham of A Cañiza, which has been produced for over a century.
The carneiro ao espeto (lamb roasted over an open fire), the galo de curral (free-range chicken) of Vila de Cruces or the chicken of Mos are other types of meat that are present in the traditional cuisine of the province of Pontevedra. In addition, delicious cheeses with Designation of Origin, such as ‘Queixo de Tetilla’ or ‘Queixo Arzúa-Ulloa’, made by hand with natural and full-cream cow milk are products obtained from livestock farming.
The natural landscape of the rivers in As Rías Baixas, apart from its beauty, boasts a great biological, historical, ethnological and gastronomic richness. In addition, it is the habitat of freshwater species such as baby eel, trout, salmon or lamprey.
The lamprey goes up the Miño River from the Atlantic Ocean to spawn and die. The town of Arbo is the historical capital of this delicacy, and the pesqueiras, the traditional stone constructions used for catching the lamprey, are unique elements of the landscape.
Salvaterra de Miño is considered the capital of the traditional food of the region, and the Miño River is the natural habitat of river species such as the lamprey, eel, baby eel, salmon or trout. The highly appreciated baby eel follows the course of the largest river in Galicia down to its mouth in A Guarda. This freshwater fish is also found in the Ulla River, and it is traditionally captured with a fish trap so-called nasa, distributed along the course of the river.
A Estrada, in the region of Tabeirós-Terra de Montes, is the Galician town with more fishing preserves. The incredible orography of this town, by the rivers Ulla and Umia, is perfect for capturing fishes such as the salmon or the trout, which also lives in other rivers like Tea or Verdugo.
They offer high-quality products due to the mild climate and the rich land of the province. Farmers have kept the traditional essence of this artisan work by carefully selecting their products and adapting production techniques to the conditions of the area. The result is a product perfectly adapted to the environment and with excellent culinary qualities.
The potatoes, the peppers from Herbón,– to the north of the province of Pontevedra—, the onions from the region of O Salnés, the millo corvo (black corn) from the O Morrazo Peninsula, or the turnip tops under the Protected Geographical Indication ‘Grelos de Galicia’, are some of the remarkable products cultivated throughout this province. They are very valued in the local cuisine.
Grelos, a vegetable typical from Galicia, is one of the basic and most important ingredients of the typical recipes of the traditional Galician cuisine, such as the Galician caldo, the cocido or the lacón con grelos.
Nature has been very generous with As Rías Baixas. The heart of the province houses lush deep-green forests, where native trees coexist with other species in wonderful natural landscapes.
Chestnut woods are one of the most remarkable landscapes in Galicia. The regions of Tabeirós-Terra de Montes and Deza and the towns of Cerdedo-Cotobade, A Lama, Campo Lameiro and Cuntis are the harvesting areas of the province with the PGI ‘Castaña de Galicia’. In the hills Fraga de Catasós, in Lalín, and in O Candán chestnuts and mushrooms also abound.
In Lalín, there is an important production of chestnut fruits, which is an extra job for families involved in livestock farming activities. This town, together with the rest in the region of Deza, produces chestnuts under the Protected Geographical Indication ‘Castaña de Galicia’.
The honey from As Rías Baixas is especially delicious and has the seal of quality PGI. This product is obtained thanks to the meticulous work of the beekeepers of this area.