CONDADO DE TEA VALLEY


Arbo, is situated to the south west of the province of Pontevedra, on the right side of the river Miño, which separates it from Portugal. Agriculture is the foundation of its economy, based mainly upon corn and wine. The element which defines Arbo's wine is the "aguja" (a certain sharp, rough taste), there being different varieties of white and red wine. The fishing of salmon, shad, lamprey, carp and trout in river Miño are of relative importance. Its industries include wood factories and recently created poultry farms. The whole municipality is dotted with large houses and pazos, in an area where the remnants of prehistoric times are completely unknown due to the lack of data and materials. An axe found in Cabeiras is the only piece, which has been catalogued as Neolithic in the Archaeological Charter of the province of Pontevedra. The oldest historical document about Arbo is the sole right by which king Alfonso VII donated the land to the Monastery of Melón. In 1021, Alfonso IX bestowed on Melón half of the church of Santa María de Arbo. Years later, another king, Fernando II, ratified his ancestors' sole right to the monastery and added Coto and Granxa de Arbo in 1184. Since this used to be an important area in terms of history and strategy, feudal lords -in order to be better protected- erected fortresses on both sides of river Miño, such as those of Melgaço, Lanhoso, Fornelos, Salvaterra and Tui.


Mount San Fins, at a height of 700 metres, with superb views over the Deva's region, is the site of a festival celebrated on the first of August in tribute to the saint. There one can discover this municipality's most important hermitage. Arbo's life is constructed around Mount San Fins which, undaunted, has witnessed the passing of centuries as an ideal watchtower to overlook everything that happens at its foot. The lamprey is another one of its hallmarks, and it has become an unavoidable reference point for a traditional festival. 


Lamprey Eel Festival, it is one of the oldest fairs within Galicia. It was born with high cultural spirit. Apart from the gastronomic exaltation, a literary contest was also organized, whose jury was usually made up of renowned personalities within the cultural sphere, who helped to echo the festival with their voices. Now an exhibition featuring the area's wines is celebrated and one can still taste the lamprey cooked in different styles. It is also curious to see the 'pesqueiras', stone monuments situated in the middle of the river and with a very antique construction, from which the fishermen, with a conical net, collect lampreys. There is written evidence of its existence in documents from the 12th century, but they could have existed in the Roman period. 




Os Muiños da Rocha
, old flower mills along the river Deva originally used by the families of the village to grind cornflower. They have just recently restored as an Ethnographical park. Inside they demonstrate how the flower is grinded from corn.




Museo do Viño, a recently opened wine museum demonstrating the wine-making traditions and history of Condado de Tea sub-zone of the Denomination of Origin Rias Baxias.