Pruning albarino vines on one of Do Ferreiro's vineyards
Albarino has, relatively quickly, not only become one of Spain's most famous whites inside the country, but also one of its more successful exports. Not bad considering that the Rias Baixas D.O. is only approximately 25 years old. Albarino vineyards are generally cultivated en parral, or trained on granite posts where the vines then climb over head at around 7 feet high. It's cool to see, and not a very common method of vine training. Argentina is known to have vines trained this way, particularly Torrontes. A tactic to encourage good ventilation in this occasionally damp growing region, the one possible downside is that Albarino is a vigorous grower, and one must prune accordingly and/or carry out green harvests during the growing season to limit yields somewhat. Soils are typically sandy, with granite bedrock below, and lots of grasses, weeds and plant growth between the rows. One common misconception about the region is its Atlantic influence and resulting climate. Yes, this means that there is plenty of rain, and a cooling influence from the ocean during evenings. However, summers here are hot - as they are in nearly all parts of Spain (except perhaps for apple growing country in Asturias and Pais Vasco, and Txakoli country in Pais Vasco). Temperatures around 40 deg. (about 100 degrees fahrenheit) are common during the season. Rain is not typically frequent from June through August, maybe it rains a few times a month.