Treixadura is not one of those grapes that most wine drinkers seek out. Yet, when you do have one, you’re more often than not pleasantly surprised. For me, it’s a little like Cesanese from Italy–you don’t have to think too hard when reaching for it. It’s a versatile table wine of sorts, one that easily pairs with most anything or nothing at all.

The venerable Luis Anxo Rodríguez Vázquez

The treixadura grape, found most commonly in the Ribeiro DO of Galicia, Spain, has a subtle richness that is buoyed by its rustic character. It’s happy alongside most seafood, especially sauced fish with plenty of herbs, but also plays well with roasted pork or something earthy like sunchokes, celery root, or sweet potatoes.

The Ribeiro DO is a small, concentrated area known for its decomposed granite and sandy soils. Ribeiro was once a thriving grape-growing region with plenty of its wines being shipped to England for consumption during the 16th and 17th centuries. Things changed after phylloxera (insect pest) hit, and many people were forced to rip out their vines and consider other means to an end. Recently though, the tide seems to be swinging in favor of bringing back the quality production of treixadura and other varieties that are at home in this verdant landscape.

I was first exposed to treixadura by Luis Rodriguez’s Viña de Martin Os Pasas Blanco. It is composed of mostly treixadura, with lado, albariño, and torrontes rounding out the blend. The beauty of this wine lies in its lemon-lime-hued complexities dancing on a spine of granite-derived minerality. I have had this bottling many times over the years, and it always makes me smile–not only for its balance of flavors but also because of its place of origin. This wine comes from Luis’s hometown of Arnoia, home to some of Ribeiro’s steepest south-facing slopes.

The 2022 Gomariz Ribeiro Treixadura ‘La Flor y La Abeja’ is 100 percent treixadura, and it really shows the grape’s quince-like qualities that keep you coming back for sip after sip. This wine shines for its overall quality-to-price ratio, and I find myself turning to this bottle often.

Also of note is the 2022 Formigo Ribeiro Blanco ‘Finca Teira’–65 percent treixadura, 20 percent godello, and 15 percent torrontes, fermented and raised entirely in stainless steel. This shows a supple, yet chiseled wine highlighting the yellow- and green-tinged fruits of this appealing grape.

When I think of Ribeiro, I think bucolic, wooded hillsides with wisps of wood smoke rising above lush, green river valleys. It’s exactly the kind of place I would love to visit and explore a bit more.

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