Helen Unger Clark — www.translate.wine
When people think of Asturias, they tend to think of hard cider. But did you know that they also produce excellent wine in the region? I learned about D.O. Cangas through a talk at Feminas, an international conference about gastronomy, women, and rural life. After listening to Carmen Martínez Rodríguez talk about her winery, I knew I had to check it out. So, I bought one of each of her wines.
I’m glad I did!
D.O. Cangas is in the southwest corner of Asturias, a region located in north-central Spain. The D.O. is tiny, spread across parts of just eight towns. It’s a mountainous region, which means that local winemakers practice heroic viticulture, or steep-slope viticulture. (Read more about heroic viticulture here.) It is one of just three regions in Spain considered “Mountain Viticulture” by the CERVIM! Because of the steep slopes, the vines need to be worked manually.
Red wines should preferably be made with albarín tinto, carrasquín, verdejo negro, or mencía. However, the D.O. also allows Alicante Bouschet, merlot, pinot noir, syrah, and verdejo negro.
White wines should preferably be made with albarín blanco, but the D.O. also allows albillo mayor, godello, gewurztraminer, muscat à petits grains, and picapoll blanco or extra.
The D.O. Cangas website lists just eight wineries in the region. I really enjoyed the wines from Las Danzas that I tried. It was fascinating to learn about local Asturian dances from the wine labels!
WHAT I TRIED:
While I tried each of the wines produced by Las Danzas, I was particularly impressed by their mencía and carrasquín blend.
WHERE TO STAY:
Are you visiting the region? Be sure to check out the Parador de Corias, a monastery that has been converted into a luxury hotel.
If you speak Spanish, it’s worth watching El viñedo emergente y los nuevos estilos de vino on https://www.gastrofeminas.com/es/live Go to “Martes – 17 mayo” and scroll down to see the video. You’ll have to sign up, but it’s free. There’s a lot of interesting content!