On Monday morning I, with the help of a local sommelier, headed out to see what I could see in Ribeira Sacra, about two hours from Santiago. Stunning. Steep. The hills have ghost vineyards underneath the brush. At one point before World War 11. the mountains were covered with terraces and now you can just feel the erosion. It's wet. The soil sags. And when you're talking about a potential 80 degree tilt to the land, disaster is around the corner. Even I began to think, perhaps it's time to retire this land. Of course you can't grown anything else on it. Vines can survive. It is not for wheat, not tomatoes nor potatoes. It is vineland. But I have to say I really was wondering if after centuries, as the Ribeira can claim wine back to Roman times, perhaps it's time to give the land and the farmer a break. I was happy to see this magical place, with rose quartz proudly strutting its prettiness in the vineyard. But ladies and gentlemen, I was hijacked. On the way up I asked my host, "Where are were going?" I admit, I asked because I was not trusting. He responded, "Where you requested." But first he had to stop, a wine pick up. The pick up started at 11am and ended at 5pm. He loved these wines. I did not. I was captive. There was no rental car in sight. I was trapped. The man, I cannot utter his name, because he was quite hospitable and kind, has a star winemaker. But wine after wine, from the garnacha to the mencia to the espadeiro (my new favorite grape) to the bastardo, they all had the same gritty texture and color. Tannins, I suspected. They weren't terribly tarted up but tarted up enough. "When I started out in 2001" he said, "people didn't understand these wines. They were looking for Parker wines. But Jay Miller gave these a 91 and that's the difference between Jay Miller and Robert Parker." Then we went to lunch, which iwas lovely, I must admit. A typical Galician soup of bitter greens and potatoes. A gorgeous fried egg. Why risk one's life to farm that land, laced with rose quartz amongst the slate, and fuck it up. I left my day, my only day in the RS, not having a clue what the soul mencia was, and this was my desire. Foiled.