What is Albariño?
Albariño a white grape and is most commonly associated with Galicia in Northwestern Spain and the wines of Rías Baixas. Albariño dominates the plantings of this part of Green Spain although we credit neighboring Portugal’s Minho region as Albariño’s place of origin. Here it is called Alvarinho, and it can be found also in the wines of Vino Verde. This thick-skinned grape is the able to produce elegant, aromatic, flavourful wines with moderate to high acidity. Styles range from fresh, youthful, or slightly fizzy styles to richer, age-worthy, wood-aged expressions.
Where is it Grown?
In Spain, the vines traditionally were trained on parras, often over six feet high, to fend off predators and protect against mildew and allow breezes to circulate. There was also a time in Portugal when vines were trained onto trees for these same reasons. More modern wire training systems now help grapes to ripen evenly in the primarily damp Maritime climates. However, while the Albariño is at home in Spain and Portugal, there are small plantings in other parts of the world, such as Oregon, Washington and California, as well as in Uruguay and New Zealand.
What Does Albariño Taste Like?
Wines made from the Albariño grape bring not only stone fruits such as juicy nectarines and peaches to the palate, but riper, tropical fruit flavours, such as mango or pineapple. Floral aromas of honeysuckle, jasmine or orange blossom complement the nose. But it’s the signatory fresh, often prominent, acidity that stands out as much as the intensity of the fruit and flower notes. Many tasters will also find a certain nod to Albariño’s coastal or maritime roots in the glass, such as a hint of salinity or the smell and taste of salty sea air.