Autumn begins in Galicia full of wine and gastronomic activities, which are always good companions.
Since the end of august we have been in the harvest season, it seems that this year it is a little early. The harvest is a perfect excuse to visit some DO wineries in Galicia and to learn all about the harvest process, so closely linked to the season.
On these dates, there are specific proposals, such as the Ribeira Sacra Vendima Viñobús, for example. The coach takes us on a tour through the vineyards, with tasting of grapes, musts and wines. The interesting thing about this autumn tour is that we learn to harvest and tread the grapes, immersing ourselves in the work of the season. Following the process, the must goes to the vats for fermentation and, after a while, it can be drunk. As time is long, we can ask for a bottle of our wine to be sent home. And, after work, a meal in the winery, as winegrowers usually do at this time. The viñobús leaves Monforte de Lemos at 10:30 and returns at approximately 4:30 p.m. on September 16, 17, 23 and 24. If we’re lucky, there may still be a place left.
Another good plan to enjoy the world of wine in autumn is to take a hiking route through the vineyards of the Valdeorras DO, in the easternmost part of the province of Ourense, visiting the peculiar caves, ancient underground wineries where wine was made and preserved.
In the wineries of the Ribeiro DO, in the northwest of the province of Ourense, there are experiences that combine oenology, thermalism, and boat trips on the waters of the Arnoia.
Monterrei, the smaller DO, southeast of the province of Ourense, bordering Portugal, also offers many visits and tourist offers for the fall, as well as the Rías Baixas DO, the one with a greater number of wineries, production and brands. Among the autumn proposals, for example, the Costeira Sonora, which mixes live music, gastronomy and wine, or the harvest picnics.
Do we still have no plan for the Pilar festivity? Let’s not give it any more thought: the O Grove Seafood Festival is the perfect destination for these dates, since September begins the best time to eat seafood, when we can enjoy these delicacies from the sea at a reasonable price. This festival, of national tourist interest, was born in 1963. This year it is celebrated between October 5 and 14, with seafood tasting in the gastronomic tent on the pier, lots of concerts, and classic activities, such as the delivery of the Golden Crabs, the Dornas Regatta, the popular race, street entertainment…
Marine cephalopod with eight arms? The octopus! Where do you eat kilos and kilos of octopus in the month of October? At the festival of San Froilán, in Lugo, from October 4 to 12. This festival, which has been celebrated since 1754, has preserved the octopus tradition ever since. On these dates, wooden booths are installed for tasting the delicacy. In addition, hospitality businesses take the pots to cook the octopus out on the street. So, the whole city smells like it feeds, mmm…
The festival grew over the years and, although the most typical thing is the octopus, there are also food and craft stalls, and a lot of shows: the Froilán sorrí, the Caudal Fest, Sanfroidance, Espazo hip hop, Electronic Lucus Fest…
If we talk about autumn and Ourense, the aroma of roasted chestnuts surely comes to mind. Here, living autumn is living magosto (roast chestnut festival). Where they are celebrated most in Galicia is where there are the most chestnuts, of course, in the south of the province of Lugo and in the province of Ourense.
In Ourense, San Martiño’s Day, November 11, is the great festival of the magosto, where chestnuts and chorizos are roasted and young red wine is drunk. The festival is held in the neighborhoods, in the Alameda park and in the surrounding mountains. There are other places with a lot of chestnuts and a lot of Magosto, such as Castro Caldelas, Chaioso de Maceda, Allariz, Castroverde, Marín, Moaña, Riós. By the way, in Riós the best chestnuts are combined with the best mushrooms.
Talking about mushrooms, we have to say that mycology is gaining strength in autumn tourism. There are more and more hiking routes to collect mushrooms. Of course, before going on an excursion, you must thoroughly research this activity, so as not to make fatal mistakes. We can always go to a mycological association that will surely be happy to help us.
Do we already have the basket, the knife and the knowledge? Well walking. The main routes to find mushrooms are in O Courel, in the forests of Folgoso and Seoane and the Devesa da Rogueira; in the Ribeira Sacra; in A Pena Folenche, in A Pobra de Trives; in O Suído mountain range; on Castrove mountain; in the surroundings of Lake Castiñeiras; in the Catasós fraga; in A Capelada mountain range; in O Xistral mountain range and in Xalo mountain.
In the municipality of A Estrada, A Estrada micolóxica, in addition to scheduling talks on the subject (October 6 and November 3), organizes very interesting outings to the mountains, since we are accompanied by experts on the subject (October 8 and 22 , November 5 and 18 and December 3). (Watch out for the gnomes!)