Grape varieties are still not referred to that much in Spain, especially in the case of red wine, most people talking about a Rioja or Ribera. On the contrary, it is very common to hear requests for an Albariño (from Galicia) and Verdejo (Rueda). Here we have listed the key players, you will notice that the name changes depending on the region for a number of the varieties, especially Tempranillo; Spain’s most famous variety which is also known as Tinto Fino, Ull de Llebre, and Cencibel.

Explore the vineyards of Spain with Cellar Tours on a Luxury Wine Tour of Rioja

Spanish Red Grape Varieties

Bobal: used in the Levante to make mainly rosé wines

Cariñena: main red grape in Calatayud and Aragon in general. Carignan in France

Garnacha: known as Grenache in France & America, this is the most prominent grape in Priorat

Graciano: Also known as Morrastel, Courouillade in France and Xres in California

Listan Negro: most common red grape in the Canary Island, particularly Tenerife. The main grape in top wine “Crater”

Manto Negro: the main grape in Mallorca, used to make some very interesting wines

Mazuelo: Also known as Mazuelo Tinto, Cariñena, and Carignan in France

Mencia: Spain´s hot and upcoming cult grape used in Bierzo, and also in Valdeorras

Monastrell: interesting red used mainly in Jumilla (Murcia) and Catalonia, makes juicy wines, Known as Mourvèdre in France.

Moristel: unusual grape found in Somontano and Aragon, makes young fruity wine

Negramoll: another red varietal from the Canary Islands, often mixed with Listan Negro

Tempranillo: Spain´s most famous and noble grape. Also known as Ull de Llebre, Cencibel, Tinto Fino. Grown in many regions including Rioja, Ribera del Duero, La Mancha, and Penedes

Spanish White Grape Varieties

Albariño: considered by many to be a strain of Riesling, this grape is grown in Rias Baixas and makes Spain’s most elegant white wines. read more

Airén: the most abundant white grape in Spain, is slowly being eradicated in favor of other varietals that offer more voluptuous whites

Godello: main white grape found in Galicia’s beautiful Ribeiro wine region. read more

Loureira Blanca: native Galician variety found in both Rias Baixas and Ribera Sacra, provides a fabulous perfumed aroma as well as acidity

Hondarrabi Zuri: the near impossible to pronounce grape used to make Basque Country’s zippy Txakoli wines. read more

Malvasia: This grape originated in Greece. Also known as Subirat-Parent, Blanca-Roja, and Malvasia Fina in Italy and Portugal, this is a blender grape. read more

Merseguera: a common white grape used for everyday wines in Valencia

Moscatel: a delicious “grapey” grape, found prominently in Alicante and more and more in Navarra

Palomino: the main grape used in the production of finos in Jerez. read more

Parellada: Also known as Montonec, native to Catalonia, the key component of Cava. read more

Pedro Ximenez: the best grape used in quality Sherry and Montilla production, aged and used to produce ultra-unctuous sweet wines

Treixadura: a varietal found in Rias Baixas (Galicia), used on its own and for blending. read more

Verdejo: the “it grape” of the moment, grown in Rueda and used for grassy young whites. read more

Viura/Macabeo: Also known as Maccabeu in France. Main white grape in Rioja and in Penedes. read more

Xarel.lo: Also known as Pansa Blanca in Alella. One of the Cava grapes is also seen more and more in single varietal wines. read more

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Cellar Tours is a Luxury Travel Specialist, operating since 2003 and offering exclusive Mercedes chauffeured Gourmet Vacations in Chile, France, Italy, Ireland, Portugal, South Africa, and Spain. We specialize in luxurious custom designed vacations, events and incentives related to food and wine. We are proud members of Slow Food, UNAV (Travel Agency Association in Spain), and the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals).

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