The DO area is located in the province of Oruense in the northwest Spanish region of Galicia near the Portuguese border. The name means "Golden Valley" because gold was mined here in ancient times. The vineyards on slate and limestone soil cover around 1,500 hectares of vineyards, most of which are located on both sides of the slopes of the river Sil and its tributaries. The main municipalities are A Rúa, Carballeda, El Barco de Valdeorras, Larouco, O Bolo, Petín, Rubiá and Vilamartín. The continental climate is characterised by hot summers, long autumns and cold winters. The area became famous for the white grape variety Godello (which had almost disappeared due to phylloxera), which was rediscovered and reactivated here. Other white varieties are Palomino, Doña Blanca(Síria) and Albarello(Alvarelhão). The red wines are mainly made from the Mencía variety, but Garnacha Tinta, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merenzao(Trousseau Noir) are also permitted.