Galicia is in the far northwestern corner of Spain, just above Portugal on the Atlantic coast. It includes four provinces and five appellations. The appellations are Monterrei, Rías Baixas, Ribeira Sacra, Ribeiro and Valdeorras. In recent years the popularity of Albariño from Rías Baixas has brought new renown to the area, though it has been a wine producing region since at least the 14th century, when it was an exporter of grape vine cuttings. The coastal climate is wet, with an average of about 50 inches of rainfall annually, and it receives many hours of sun. Besides the Albariño grape, Galicia grows the white wine grapes Loureira, Caiño Blanca, Torrontés, Treixadura and Godello, another recently popular grape and wine. Red wines of the region are light and generally made of Mencia. Rías Baixes is the star of the region, with Albariño accounting for 90% of its production.
On the Iberian peninsula, one grape belongs to two different countries and is called by two different names: Albarino in Spain, Alvarhino in Portugal. Either way, it makes an underrated white wine that is akin to Riesling and fabulous with seafood and shellfish.