The Lado grape is a yellow green grape variety which is a native variety to the Spain’s Galcia region which falls to the northwestern end.
This wine grape is typically grown in the region of Ribeiro DO, having a maritime climate and often used as a blending ingredient in wines made from varieties like the Treixadura and Torrontés.
To some extent, this grape variety is also used with Godello (Verdelho) and Albarino (Alvarinho).
This grape was not a much popular grape variety, but due to the recent international acclaim received by the Albarino (Alvarinho) wine; this grape is again becoming popular and is being planted by the vine growers of the region.
History of the Lado grapes
In the fourteenth century, the Galicia region was one of the suppliers of the Lado grape wines along with exporting of the plant vines.
However, due to the large scale vine pulling which took place, large number of Lado wine regions were affected bringing these wine grapes to the point of extinction.
Also in the nineteenth century, many workers moved away from this region in search of work and livelihood, which further led to the destruction of this grape.
However, thanks to the funding assistance that spain received in 1986, after it joined the European union, did the wine grape come back into prominence, but it till date it could not regain the large share of area under cultivation, as it was, back then!
Vine and Viticulture of Lado Grape
Lado grape is a consistent grape which produces a yield in a short and small compact bunches having berries which are quite big in size.
This grape grows well in soils containing granite and slate and it can be found in abundance in the Galcia region.
Climate and geography for Lado grapes
This grape grows really well in the vineyards of Galicia region, which are influenced by high humidity levels and the close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean.
This grape also prefers to have a very wet climate where it rains on an average of more than 50 inches or 1300 mm a year.
This grape prefers high humidity levels, and the 2000 hours of good sunshine that the area receives, helps contribute to the required level of humidity for this grape.
The mountain ranges of the Serra dos Ancares form a border with the Castile and León regions to the east and Miño forms the part of the border with Portugal down south.
And this close proximity of the region where this grape is cultivated makes it resemble more to the Portugal style of wines, as the Galcia area is closer to Portugal and is isolated to a larger extent from Spain.
Characteristics of Ribeiro where the grape is grown
Lado grapes typically come from the Ribeiro DO which is a large cooperative winery. The Ribeiro DO literally means river banks in the local Galician and is located along Miñoriver and its tributaries.
It received the DO status in the year 1957. In the 16th and the 17th century, Ribeiro wine started getting exported to the English and the Italian region, but suffered a setback, due to the phylloxera epidemic.
And thanks to this epidemic, the winegrowers of this region moved away from the hybrid grape varieties which were highly productive, but of a low quality.
The winemakers started cultivating the native variety of Lado and some other varieties like Torrontés and Treixaduraehich produced crisp, aromatic and classic white wines.
The other grape varieties produced in this DO include – Albariño, Brancellao, Caiñoblanca, Caiñotinto, Ferrón, Garnacha, Jerez, Loureira, Mencía, Godello, Sousón Tempranillo, Treixadura,Viura and Torronté.
Characteristics of Lado grape wines
Lado grapes are excellent quality white wine grapes which are used as a minor component in the popular white wines of the Ribeiro RO of Galcia.
These grapes typically add a lot of an aromatic complexity and refreshing bit of acidity making the wine appear crisp and citrusy, while delivering faint smoky hints of tobacco, when matured in a barrel. The wine also tends to give a bit of spicy aromas which adds a great deal of finish to the wine.
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