The wines of Chaves
We have proof of wine being cultivated in the area of Chaves since ancient times, demonstrated by the presence of wine presses carved out of the rocks. The highest concentration of these is found in Santo Estêvão, with others in São Lourenço, Outeiro Seco and Vilela. However, the valley and its slopes produce enough wine for a Cooperative Winery to have been operating in Chaves for many years, which sells the region’s wine, renowned for the whites and reds from the vineyards in Santo Estêvão. The history of wine production and trade in Chaves can be seen in the Adega do Faustino, a restored winery with an attractive roof that now functions as a restaurant.
The wines of Monterrei
In 1996, the Regional Ministry of Agriculture recognized the Monterrei Designation of Origin, comprised of a number of pioneering wineries. Despite their recent appearance, the wines of Monterrei have already become firmly established in markets in Galicia and further afield. References to the region’s wine have appeared in specialist and general magazines, winning numerous awards and even competing with other Spanish and foreign wines with a much longer tradition. Their presence in gastronomic events and the fact that some have received the Galicia Calidade (Galicia Quality) seal are a sure sign that they have become firmly consolidated. The oldest evidence of wine and vines in the area was found in Mourazos, on a Roman sculpture of the god Dionysus and the satyr Ampelus, both of whom were associated with the production and enthusiastic consumption of wine. Today, there are 3,000 hectares of vineyards in the area, of which 720 hectares are under the protection of the Designation of Origin, with more than six hundred producers and twenty-five wineries with a production of close to one million bottles, made from two million kilos of grapes, of which 65% are white and the remaining 35% are red.