Monterrei, meaning the king’s mountain, is located in the province of Orense just across the Portuguese border in the south east of Galicia. The ideal place to view the region’s vineyards is from the hilltop fortress at the town of Monterrei which was used to fend off the Portuguese in the 17th century.

The Atlantic influence is not as strong here and summer temperatures are the highest of the region making it possible to produce both white and red wines in the DO. Most of the vineyards are located on the slopes lining the River Támega.

Winemaking has traditionally focused on white grapes, mostly Doña Blanca (or Dona Branca as it is known locally), however the more impressive whites come from the Godello or Treixadura grapes. Red wines, mostly from Mencía and increasingly Tempranillo, are emerging with greater complexity from some of the recently established producers.

The Monterrei DO is Galicia’s most recent having been created just over a decade ago. It has a rich cultural backdrop to support its wines: most of the region’s natural springs are found here and the market town of Verín has a long tradition of colourful carnivals. The celebration, with wine and food playing an important role, takes place in February and is well known throughout Spain.