Fillaboa: The Production of the Highest Quality Albariño Wines in the Rías Baixas of Spain

Bodega Fillaboa

 

Bodegas Fillaboa produces some of the rarest and highest quality wine from the DO Rías Baixas in Spain’s northwest corner. Fillaboa is focused exclusively on the cultivation of Albariño, the star white wine of the region, famed for its freshness, complexity, and compatibility with local seafood.

In a region where most wineries make wines from purchased grapes, Fillaboa stands apart for its exclusive use of estate-grown fruit, ensuring quality and consistency from vine to bottle. Its historic property, located on the northern slopes of the Miño River, lies only 150 feet from the Portuguese border and 22 miles from the Atlantic Ocean.  A famously windy and rainy part of Spain, the vines are trained “en parra”, or in a pergola trellising system, to reach a height of 6-7 feet, thereby decreasing botrytis and increasing wind flow in the vineyards. The granite-rich soil and the cool influence of the nearby Atlantic Ocean make the Fillaboa estate a privileged place for vine-growing.

Fog over grape vines

Bodegas Fillaboa is focused on preserving the primary aromas of the Albariño grape variety. A naturally thick-skinned grape, Albariño produces aromatic and floral white wine with good weight and exuberant freshness. The Albariño wines from Fillaboa exhibit the grape’s trademark minerality, along with orchard fruit, orange blossom, and citrus aromas. Alcoholic fermentation takes place at low temperatures in stainless steel vats, and the wine is then aged sur lees between six to twelve months. Only bentonite is used as a natural clarifying agent. Winemaker Isabel Salgado has gained intimate knowledge of the 74-hectare property (183 acres) and refined the winemaking during her tenure of almost 25 years at the estate. Her mastery of white winemaking is indisputable and is reflected in the elegant and balanced wines she produces each vintage.

The estate’s deep devotion to quality is perfectly displayed in Fillaboa Selección Finca Monte Alto, one of the very few single-vineyard estate wines produced in Rías Baixas, a racy white wine that sings with granite minerality and showcases Albariño’s quintessential freshness. This emblematic vineyard is the highest and sunniest at Bodega Fillaboa, crowning the estate at a height of 500 feet above the Miño River.

The origin of the Fillaboa estate, meaning “the good daughter” in the Galician dialect of northwestern Spain, dates to the seventeenth century. The name comes from a local legend that tells the story of a count who left his best lands to his youngest daughter, “La Hija Buena”.  Fillaboa is owned by the Masaveu family since 2000 and is one of five wine elaborating estates that showcase the family’s determination to convey the character of terroir in every bottle. In addition to the winery and vineyards, the Fillaboa estate features a Roman bridge, a stone chapel built in 1909, and a Romanesque palace that houses works of art by Spanish painters from the fifteenth to twentieth century.

Published on March 23, 2022