Spanish Grape Varieties

By: Genevieve Mc Carthy / Last updated: July 16, 2024


In Spain, the world of wine often revolves around renowned wine regions such as Rioja and Ribera. While these regions have rightfully earned their reputation for producing exceptional wines, the focus on regional identity sometimes overshadows the appreciation for individual grape varieties. As a result, grape varieties are not discussed as extensively as one might expect, especially when it comes to red wine.

Nevertheless, Spain does have some fascinating exceptions to this trend. Notably, the Albariño grape from Galicia and the Verdejo grape from Rueda have gained significant popularity and recognition. These two white grape varieties have captured the attention of wine enthusiasts both within Spain and abroad, showcasing the country’s ability to produce exceptional white wines with unique characteristics.

We have compiled a comprehensive list of key players to shed light on the diverse grape varieties in Spain. It’s a testament to the country’s rich viticultural heritage and the remarkable regional nuances that shape its wines. One striking observation is the variation in names for certain grape varieties depending on the region. This highlights the deep-rooted connection between grape varieties and their geographical origins, adding a layer of intrigue and complexity to the Spanish wine landscape.

Among the notable grape varieties, one is Spain’s most famous and emblematic—the Tempranillo. Renowned for its versatility and ability to produce outstanding red wines, Tempranillo goes by different names across the country. In the Ribera del Duero region, it is commonly referred to as Tinto Fino, while in Catalonia, it is known as Ull de Llebre. In the La Mancha region, another name for Tempranillo is Cencibel. This grape variety holds a special place in Spanish winemaking history and continues to captivate wine enthusiasts with its robust character and potential for aging.

By delving into the world of Spanish grape varieties, we aim to illuminate the richness and diversity of the country’s winemaking tradition. Spain’s reputation as a dynamic and vibrant wine producer thrives on its captivating array of grape varieties, from the classic Tempranillo to lesser-known gems waiting to be discovered.

Spanish Red Wine Grape Varieties


Wine Regions: Alicante, Manchuela, Murcia, Ribera del Júcar, Valencia

Characteristics: Bobal undoubtedly remains a relatively obscure red grape variety in the great pantheon of Spanish viticultural treasures. It is native to the Utiel-Requena region of southeastern Spain and can be found in several up-and-coming DOs, including Valencia, Alicante, and Murcia. In the past, Bobal was regarded with little interest; however, a younger generation of winemakers finally gave the grape the respect it deserved. Ripening to naturally high levels of tannin and acidity, the grape’s thick skins are full of intense flavoring compounds. Chocolate and sour cherry aromas instantly leap from the glass, making Bobal an ideal partner for grilled chuletas (lamb chops) and warm summer evenings.

Food pairings: Bobal wine, with its medium body, fresh acidity, and soft tannins, is a good match with lighter meats: Chicken, turkey, and rabbit. Bobal is a good option with traditional Valencian paella. Semi-hard and aged cheeses like Manchego are a good cheese pairing


Wine Regions: Ribeira Sacra, Ribeiro

Characteristics: Brancellao is an aromatic red grape variety found in Galicia, Spain, particularly in the Ribeira Sacra region. It produces wines with an elegant and refined character, showcasing vibrant acidity, fruity flavors, and a smooth texture. Brancellao is often blended with other local grapes but can also be enjoyed as a standalone varietal. 

Food Pairings: Poultry, Seafood, and semi-hard cheeses like Gamoneu


Wine Regions: Arribes

Characteristics: Bruñal is a dark-skinned wine grape native to northwest Spain’s Arribes region, known for its low yield. It is often used in blends alongside more prominent varieties like Juan García, Rufete, Tempranillo, and Garnacha for red and rosé wine production. The resulting full-bodied wines offer a balanced mix of red and dark fruits with notable tannin and acidity.

Food Pairings: Grilled meats, such as lamb chops, sausages, or even grilled vegetables and Goud-style cheese.


Wine Region: Mallorca (Balearic Islands)

Characteristics: Callet is an indigenous red grape variety from Mallorca, Spain. Once on the brink of extinction, it is now experiencing a revival. Its deep color, distinctive red berries, and spice flavors reflect the island’s terroir and winemaking heritage.

Food Pairings: Grilled fish, roast vegetables, and soft cheeses such as Queso Tetilla.


Wine Regions: Aragon, Calatayud, Montsant, Priorat, Rioja, Terra Alta

Characteristics: It goes by several synonyms: Carignan in France, Mazuelo in Rioja, and Cariñena in Aragon. It has historically been maligned for its tendency towards high yields and alcohol; however, the grape can produce structured and concentrated wine in the right hands. It is widely planted in France’s Languedoc region and is still an essential ingredient in Priorat. Overcropped vines continue to produce dross, but the top examples are a million miles away from this caricature. Indeed, old bush vines in Aragon and Rioja are making pungent and intense wine with pronounced aromas of black fruits, licorice, white pepper, and garrigue.

Food Pairings: Cariñena pairs well with richer meats, such as roast pork, beef brisket, duck, and other game. For the more adventurous, the acidity through the heat of spicy food such as an Indian Balti dish. For cheese, consider aged Gouda or aged Parmesan.

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Wine Regions: Priorat

Characteristics: Cartuxá is a red grape variety that is highly esteemed for its contribution to producing exceptional wines. Also known as Carthusian or Cartoixa, this grape is primarily grown in the prestigious wine region of Priorat in Catalonia, Spain. It is believed to have originated from the ancient Carthusian monastery, which played a significant role in the region’s winemaking history.

Caino Tinto

Wine Regions: Rías Baixas

Characteristics: Caino Tinto is a red grape variety that is primarily grown in the Galicia region of northwest Spain. It is known for its high acidity and bright fruit flavors, which make it a popular choice for producing young, vibrant red wines.

Food pairings: Caino Tinto’s balanced acidity is a great partner for lighter grilled meats. And you can’t go wrong with a slice or two of Manchego


Wine Regions: Mallorca (Balearic Islands)

Characteristics: Fogoneu is a rare indigenous red grape from Mallorca, Spain, shrouded in mystery and historical significance. Despite its obscurity, it thrives in the island’s Mediterranean climate, producing wines with a distinct ruby color and intriguing flavors of red fruits and delicate florals.

Food pairings: Try with baked salmon, or grilled meats


Wine Regions: Calatayud, Campo de Borja, Catalonia, Montsant, Navarra, Priorat, Rioja, Sierra de Gredos, Somontano, Terra Alta

Characteristics: Garnacha Tinta (Grenache Noir to the French) was once derided as coarse, alcoholic, and as subtle as a fluorescent airstrip. But champions of the grape, like Alvaro Palacios, have definitively proven that the Southern Rhone grape can produce superlative and long-lived red wine in the Iberian Peninsula. Currently thriving in Rioja Oriental, Jumilla, Sierra de Gredos, and south of Madrid, Garnacha ripens to high alcohol levels and pungent aromas. The powerful scent of red fruit and spice always clues in critics during a blind tasting. Old bush vines in the Campo de Borja and the Gredos mountains are now highly prized commodities.

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Garnatxa Peluda

Wine Regions: Catalonia, Priorat

Characteristics: Garnatxa Peluda, or “Hairy Grenache,” also known as Garnatxa Gris, is a unique grape variety with fine hairs on its leaves. Grown primarily in Catalonia, Spain, it produces pale wines with medium body, vibrant acidity, and aromas of red fruits, herbs, and florals. Explore this lesser-known side of the Grenache family.

Food Pairings: Hearty stews and casserole dishes flavored with paprika and chilies. It pairs well with Asturian Gamonéu or Basque Idiazabal cheeses.


Wine Regions: Bierzo, Catalonia, La Mancha, Navarra, Rioja, Somontano

Characteristics: Graciano is a red grape variety primarily grown in the Rioja region. Known for its thick skins, small berries, and low yields, this grape produces wines that are deeply colored, highly tannic, and full-bodied, with aromas ranging from dark fruit to spices and leather. Also known as Morrastel, Courouillade in France, and Xres in California

Food pairings: When in La Rioja, lamb chops roasted on the grill and seasoned with herbs washed down with a Graciano will have you returning for more and more. Elsewhere, try with steak cooked on the grill or wild boar. Smoked Idiazabal from the northern Basque region is a great match.

Hondarrabi Beltza

Wine Regions: Txakolina

Characteristics: Hondarrabi Beltza is a captivating red grape variety from the Basque Country, known for producing vibrant and fruit-forward wines. With its deep color, lively acidity, and enticing red berry aromas, Hondarrabi Beltza offers a unique taste of the coastal terroir and the lesser-known side of Basque winemaking.

Food pairings: Seafood such as grilled fish, Octopus, or shellfish. Likewise, light meats such as chicken or pork served with a fresh citrus-dressed salad. For cheese, try a local Idiazabal.

Juan García

Wine Regions: Arribes

Characteristics: Juan García is a red Spanish wine grape grown in the Arribes region near the Portuguese border. It is often blended with other red grapes, particularly Tempranillo. The berries of Juan García are known for their brilliant purple color when fully ripe, and they are used to produce aromatic, light- to medium-bodied wines. It is also known by the synonym “Negreda.”

Food pairings: Grilled lamb, beef steak grilled or pan-seared, duck and venison. Stews seasoned with spicy chorizo from the Arribes region are made to match.

Listán Negro

Wine Regions: Canary Islands

Characteristics: The Listán Negro grape is an indigenous variety found in the Canary Islands, particularly Tenerife. Its origins trace back to Spain’s colonial past, and it has adapted to the islands’ unique volcanic terroir and coastal influences. Listán Negro produces diverse wines, ranging from light and fruity to robust and complex. It is the main grape in the top wine “Crater”

Food pairings: Seafood, such as Grilled Octopus and tuna steaks, roast chicken and duck with berry sauce. If you are bar hopping and enjoying tapas, then Jamón Ibérico and Patatas Bravas will not let you down.

Manto Negro

Wine Regions: Binissalem-Mallorca, Pla i Llevant

Characteristics: Manto Negro is an indigenous red grape variety from Mallorca, Spain, known for its deep-purple hue and exceptional qualities. Thriving for centuries, it reflects the island’s winemaking heritage and terroir, producing wines with delightful dark fruit, spice, and earthy flavors.

Food pairings: Local slow-cooked lamb, rabbit with sauteed onions, venison, or paella with a mix of meats. Mahón, a local semi-hard cheese with a buttery, tangy flavor, complements the wine’s complexity.


Wine Regions: Navarra, La Rioja, Somontano

Characteristics: Marzuelo grape is a red wine variety primarily grown in Spain, particularly Rioja and Navarra. Its small, thick-skinned berries produce deeply colored wines with a rich, full-bodied taste and intense black fruit and spice aromas.

Food pairings: Grilled local mountain-raised lamb seasoned with herbs or a hearty beef stew with generous portions of mushrooms.


Wine Regions: La Rioja

Maturana is a rare grape native to Spain’s La Rioja region. Nearly extinct, it was revived by a few producers in the late 20th century. Today, it’s gaining popularity for its unique characteristics, adding deep color, high tannins, and notes of dark fruit, spice, and leather to traditional Rioja wines.

Food pairings: Maturana is well-suited to a wood-fired grilled chuletón steak ( basque T-bone), quail, and pheasant. It is equally well-suited to a charcuterie platter featuring cured meats, Spanish olives, and local artisan bread.


Wine Regions: Galicia

Characteristics: Merenzao is a red grape variety found in Galicia, Spain. It is known for producing wines with vibrant flavors, moderate tannins, and a distinctive character that reflects the region’s unique terroir.

Food pairings: This Galician gem marries well with grilled poultry, light pasta dishes with light cream sauces, and richer seafood such as salmon or trout. Soft cheeses like brie, camembert, or local tetilla cheese wonderfully enhance each other’s favors.


Wine Regions: Bierzo, Leon, Monterrei, Ribeira Sacra,Ribeiro, Valdeorras

Characteristics: The deeply colored and pungently aromatic Mencia has no equal in the world of Spanish red wine. Only planted in Spain and Portugal, the grape is much appreciated for its robust structure, lively acidity, and ability to age for many years after release. In its youth, you’ll encounter notes of blackberry, pomegranate, and black cherry. With age, tertiary flavors of wood smoke, coffee, and truffle should emerge.

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Wine Regions: Alicante, Bullas (Murcia) , Catalonia, Castilla-La Mancha, Jumilla, Valencia, Yecla

Characteristics: Monastrell lacks the fame of Tempranillo and the glamour of Mencia, and yet it is now responsible for some of Spain’s most exciting reds. Known as Mourvedre in the South of France, the grape blends well with Garnacha and Syrah, adding flesh, body, and spice. However, single-varietal Monastrell wines made in east-central Spain are increasingly prized for their concentration, weight, and longevity. Young examples are bursting with raspberry, plum, and black cherry flavors. It is usually full of alcohol, tannin, and extract. Older bottles are a delight; aromas of forest floor, truffle, and game leap from the glass.

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Wine Regions: Somontano

Characteristics: The Moristel grape, native to Aragon’s Somontano region, is renowned for its resilience to disease and harsh climates. It matures late and has traditionally been used in blends with local and international varieties, contributing to light-bodied red wines with moderate acidity and tannin. Previously on the brink of extinction, Moristel has been revitalized following Somontano’s recognition as a Denominación de Origen (DO).


Wine Regions: Canary Islands

Characteristics: The Negramoll grape, predominantly grown in the volcanic soils and subtropical climate of the Canary Islands, is highly versatile and renowned for its vibrant wines. This dark-skinned variety produces easy-to-drink table wines with a deep cherry color, delightful red berries, and caramel aromas.

Prieto Picudo

Wine Regions: León Wine Region Guide

Characteristics: Prieto Picudo is a rare dark-skinned red wine grape variety grown in León, northern Spain. It produces light rosés and deeply pigmented red wines as a single-variety or blended with Tempranillo or Mencia. Typical Prieto Picudo wines have moderate tannins and good acidity and may benefit from oak aging.


Wine Regions: Canary Islands, Cava, Penedès, Pla de Bages

Characteristics: Sumoll, a rustic black grape native to Catalonia’s Penedès region, yields red, white, rosé wines, and Cava. Once widespread in Spain, it faced a decline since the 1980s. Now revived, it offers distinctive wines valued by local winemakers and is renowned for its unique flavor profile of red berries, herbs, and earthy tones. Also known as Vijariego Negro, it features in the Canary Islands and Pla de Bages DOPs.


Wine Regions: Cigales, Extremadura, La Mancha, Navarra, Penedès, Ribera del Duero, Rioja, Somontano, Toro, Valdepeñas, Vinos de Madrid

Characteristics: Tempranillo is a celebrity in Spanish viticulture, known as Tinto Fino in Ribera del Duero and Ull de Llebre in Catalunya. Tempranillo, an early-ripening red grape variety derived from the Spanish word “Temprano” meaning early, is much-loved for producing soft and aromatically expressive red wines. The signature aromas of strawberry, red cherry, and plum fade into smoky complexity, with age-old Rioja typically reeking of tobacco leaf, spice, and shoe leather. Tempranillo is no picnic to cultivate (early budding makes it vulnerable to spring frosts), but the wine it produces is magnificent.

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Wine Regions: Catalunya

Characteristics: Trepat is a red grape variety native to northeastern Spain, specifically the Catalonia region. It produces light-to-medium-bodied wines with low tannins and high acidity, making them particularly well-suited to sparkling wine production. Trepat is gaining popularity among wine enthusiasts for its unique flavor profile and versatility in winemaking.

Spain’s Most Widely Planted Red Wine Grapes

#GrapeHectares Grown
2Garnacha (Grenache)75,000
3Monastrell (Mourvèdre)63,000
6Cabernet Sauvignon20,000
10Cariñena (Carignan)6,000

Spanish White Wine Grape Varieties

Albarín Blanco

Wine Regions: Asturias, Castilla y León, Galicia

Characteristics: Albarín Blanco is a rare light-skinned grape variety found in northwestern Spain, particularly in Castilla y León, Asturias, and Galicia. Despite the similar names, it is distinct from Albariño (Alvarinho). The wine made from Albarín Blanco has an aroma that falls between Albariño and Gewürztraminer, with notes of ripe limes, lychee, mint, fig, and orange.


Wine Regions: Bierzo, Lourinhã, Monterrei, Penedès, Rías Baixas, Ribeiro, Valdeorras

Characteristics: The darling of sommeliers worldwide, Albariño is no longer limited to the vineyards of Spain and California. Indeed, this irresistible white grape is turning up in regions as diverse as Sonoma and Marlborough. Nonetheless, the best wines are arguably still made in Galicia – winegrowers have taken full advantage of the grape’s fresh citrus profile and generous acidity. The top examples are aged on their fine lees to create silky heaven.

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Wine Region: Canary Islands, Castilla y León, Cigales, Galicia, La Mancha, Ribera del Duero, Sierras de Gredos, Vinos de Madrid

Characteristics: The term ‘Albillo’ refers to a grape family, including Albillo Mayor, Albillo Real, and Albillo de Albacete. Albillo Real is the mutation most commonly found in Castilla y León – both Pingus and Vega Sicilia maintain a few parcels, occasionally blended into their signature red wines. It needs low yields – and plenty of sunlight – to produce high-quality wine. The top examples are fragrant and textured.

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Wine Regions: Somontano

Characteristics: lcañón is a rare white grape variety native to the Somontano region in Aragon. The grape produces light, fresh, and aromatic wines characterized by citrus and green apple notes and is part of the authorized varieties in the Somontano DOP. Once on the brink of extinction, 27 hectares (2016) are now cultivated in the region. The unique climate of Somontano, influenced by its proximity to the Pyrenees, provides ideal conditions for this indigenous vine.


Wine Regions: Jumilla, La Mancha, Montilla-Moriles, Valdepeñas, Vinos de Madrid

Characteristics: Airen is a white wine grape widely cultivated in Spain’s La Mancha region. It is known for its ability to thrive in hot and dry climates and produce light-bodied, crisp wines with fresh and fruity flavors.

Caíño Blanco

Wine Regions: Rías Baixas, Ribeiro, Ribeira Sacra, Valdeorras

Characteristics: Rescued from extinction in the late 1900s, Caíño Blanco now has a niche following in the vineyards of Galicia. It yields perfumed white wines that are not dissimilar to Albariño – citric, floral, and always refreshing.

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Doña Blanc

Wine Regions: Bierzo, Galicia, Rueda

Characteristics: Doña Blanc is a white grape variety that is primarily grown in the northwest of Spain, particularly in the regions of Bierzo, Galicia, and Rueda. Known for its aromatic profile and bright acidity, this grape is often blended with other varieties but is increasingly being vinified as a single-varietal wine.

Garnacha Blanca

Wine Regions: Montsant, Navarra, Priorat, Ribera del Duero, Rioja, Terra Alta

Characteristics: Until recently, virtually everyone ignored this mutation of Grenache Noir—apart from growers in Terra Alta. However, they have long demonstrated that, despite popular misconception, Garnacha Blanca can yield voluptuous and delicious white wines with notes of stone fruit, white flowers, and lavender.

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Wine Regions: Bierzo, Monterrei, Ribeira Sacra, Ribeiro, Valdeorras

Characteristics: Winemaker Rafael Palacios believes that Godello can produce white wines to rival Grand Cru Burgundy. We can’t argue with that; top examples can excite the palate as much as any Montrachet. In addition, it produces rich and full-bodied wine that benefits from oak maturation.

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Hondarrabi Zuri

Wine Regions: Txakolina

Characteristics: Reliably tart and inimitably fresh, Hondarrabi Zuri is one of the few varieties to thrive in the inclement climate of Atlantic Spain. In very wet years, under-ripeness can be a real issue. Yet, in good vintages, the grape’s moderate alcohol and racy palate make Hondarrabi Zuri a firm favorite in summer.

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Hondarrabi Zuri Zerratie

Wine Regions: Txakolina

Characteristics: Hondarrabi Zuri Zerratie is a captivating white grape from the Basque Country’s coastal regions. Thriving in the cool climate and mineral-rich soils, it produces wines with vibrant acidity, lively citrus flavors, and a delightful minerality. Particularly renowned for its role in the production of Txakoli, a traditional Basque wine, Hondarrabi Zuri Zerratie offers wine enthusiasts a refreshing and distinctive taste experience, showcasing the unique terroir and flavors of the region.

Loureiro Blanca

Wine Regions: Rías Baixas, Ribeiro

Hardly recognized outside of Galicia, Loureiro is usually added to blends to enhance freshness and acidity. However, if the terroir and winemaking are up to scratch, it can work as a standalone varietal. Expect a surfeit of lime cordial and tropical fruit on the palate.

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Malvasía de Rioja (Malvasía Riojana)

Wine Regions: Rioja Alavesa, Rioja Alta

Characteristics: Part of an extensive family of ancient grape varieties, very little Malvasía de Rioja is planted in Rioja today. Nevertheless, winemakers like Byran MacRobert have proven that it can yield stupendous mono-varietal wine in Rioja – a mouthful of honeysuckle, stone fruit, and lime. It is also occasionally added to Rioja blends, including the wines of Lopez de Heredia.

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Wine Regions: Canary Islands

Characteristics: Marmajuelo is a rare and aromatic yellow-skinned grape variety grown exclusively on the Canary Islands, particularly in regions like Ycoden-Daute-Isora, Gran Canaria, and Tacoronte-Acentejo. It thrives in sandy island soils but is cultivated in limited quantities due to potential issues with fruit set. It is primarily used in blends because of its scarcity rather than its taste.


Wine Regions: Alicante, La Mancha, Valencia

Characteristics: Merseguera grape is a white grape variety native to Spain, particularly Valencia and Alicante. With a rich history and ability to showcase terroir, it produces versatile wines with delicate aromas, balanced acidity, and subtle flavors. Whether enjoyed on its own or used for blending, Merseguera remains a beloved choice among wine enthusiasts, adding charm and character to the Spanish winemaking tradition.


Wine Regions: Canary Islands, Catalonia, Jerez, La Mancha, Málaga, Navarra, Valencia

Characteristics: The Moscatel grape, renowned for its aromatic allure and luscious sweetness, also plays a significant role in the world of Sherry. This versatile grape variety contributes to the creation of exceptional Sherries, adding depth, complexity, and a touch of honeyed richness to these fortified wines. 

Mune Mahatsa

Wine Regions: Txakolina

Characteristics: Mune Mahatsa, also known as Folle Blanche, is a grape variety prominently featured in Txakoli wines from the Basque Country. This ancient grape thrives in the region’s unique terroir, adding refreshing acidity and delicate aromas to the beloved Txakoli wines.


Wine Regions: Canary Islands, Condado de Huelva, Jerez, Malaga, Montilla-Moriles, Rueda, Valdepeñas

Characteristics: Paradoxically, the signature white grape of Sherry is incapable of producing high-quality table wine. Instead, it yields very neutral must with low acidity and high pH, yet the Sherry process transforms this lackluster concoction into a thing of real beauty. It is one of the great miracles of Spanish winemaking.

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Wine Regions: Alella, Catalunya, Conca de Barberà, Costers del Segre, Penedès, Tarragona

Characteristics: Challenging to grow, Parellada responds well to high-elevation sites that allow the grapes to maintain good acidity in the Mediterranean climate of coastal Catalunya. Rarely produced as a still wine, Parellada is an important part of the Cava recipe.

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Wine Regions: Somontano

Characteristics: Parraleta grape is a rare and exceptional red wine variety originating from Somontano, Spain. Its small to medium-sized deep red grapes thrive in cool climates, producing full-bodied wines with fruity aromas of dark berries, cherries, and plums. Parraleta wines are characterized by their elegance, balance, and vibrant acidity. They offer a range of flavors that can be enjoyed in their youth or aged for more intricate notes of spices, leather, and earthiness.

Pedro Ximénez

Wine Regions: Canary Islands, Jerez, Málaga, Montilla-Moriles, Priorat, Ribera del Guadiana, Valencia

Characteristics: Fitness enthusiasts should look away now: Pedro Ximénez (PX) is responsible for producing dessert wines with over 450 grams of sugar per liter. However, the grape is currently enjoying a modest revival in Spain, having found favor with Michelin sommeliers in Spain’s hottest destination restaurants. Unfortunately, the variety is difficult to grow, meaning that success does not come every year.

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Picapoll Blanco

Wine Regions: Pla de Bages

Characteristics: The Picapoll Blanco grape is a captivating indigenous white grape variety from Spain, renowned for its intriguing flavors, historical significance, and remarkable versatility. With its vibrant acidity, citrus and stone fruit notes, and herbaceous undertones, wines crafted from Picapoll Blanco offer a refreshing and crisp sensory experience.

Tempranillo Blanco

Wine Regions: Rioja

Characteristics: In 1988, oenologist Jesus Galilea Esteban stumbled upon a small parcel of these white Tempranillo vines. Recognizing its potential, scientists in the region propagated this unique find. Though typically used to add liveliness to blends, Tempranillo Blanco is known for its own distinctive charm, offering aromas of stone fruit, lemongrass, and orange blossom.

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Wine Regions: Monterrei, Rías Baixas, Ribeiro

Characteristics: Though difficult to pronounce and grow, Treixadura can nonetheless yield beautifully fragrant and elegant white wine. Delivering its best requires a delicate balance between warmth, sunlight, and moisture.

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Wine Regions: Rueda

Characteristics: Verdejo can yield wines as delicious and refreshing as Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc. Relatively straightforward to grow, it holds its acidity well, tolerating the arid climate and sometimes harsh conditions of Castilla y León. Lime-scented Verdejo has become perennially popular in the wine bars of London, Madrid, New York, and San Francisco. The trend shows no sign of dying down.

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Wine Regions: Catalonia, Jumilla, Navarra, Rioja, Valencia

Characteristics: Viura is one of Spain’s most underrated viticultural treasures, known as Macabeo in Catalunya. Old parcels can produce dazzling wines that have it all: perfume, structure, acidity, and depth. Viura also responds well to oak aging, imbuing the wines with a Burgundian-like opulence.

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Wine Regions: Catalunya, Penedès, Navarra

Characteristics: The signature white grape of Cava can also be used to produce still wine, especially if the site and winemaking are second to none. Wines can vary in ‘pitch,’ ranging from lemon freshness to more structured and multifaceted whites with aromas of fennel and thyme.

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Spain’s Most Widely Planted White Wine Grapes

2Viura (Macabeo)34,000


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Genevieve Mc Carthy

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