Grapes from Spain

It will be by varieties. There are hundreds, thousands of them. However we will name those that stand out in the main production areas of Spain.



Tempranillo The great star for being the best known. It produces quality wines, balanced and aromatic and with a medium acidity and graduation. It is the main variety in areas like Rioja, Ribera de Duero and La Mancha. Also called tempranilla, tinta del país or cencibel, is a grape variety widely cultivated to produce red wines with body1 in Spain, where it originated. It occupies a cultivated area of 31,046 hectares, which supposes 61% of the D.O. Called Rioja, with a progressive increase in recent years to the detriment of other varieties. It is considered autochthonous of Rioja. Tempranillo is used in mixtures, usually 90% of the mixture. Less often it is bottled as varietal wine. Being of low acidity and low also the sugar content, the most normal is to mix it with garnacha, mazuela, graciano, merlot and cabernet sauvignon. Mixing the grape with a mazuela achieves a more brilliant and acid wine.1 In Australia, the tempranillo is mixed with garnacha and syrah. In Portugal, where it is known as ink roriz, it is a principal grape in the production of some oportos. Tempranillo wines can be consumed young, but the most expensive ones are aged for several years in oak barrels. The wines are ruby red, with aromas of berries, plum, tobacco, vanilla, leather and grass. The grape tempranilla produces a must balanced in sugar, color and acidity although the latter, sometimes, is scarce. It has a palate frank, interesting in young wine and velvety when it grows old.

Cabernet-Sauvigon Present on all continents, it is the variety of fashion wherever we go. Its result are wines of intense color, with body and alcoholics. The style of cabernet sauvignon is strongly influenced by the maturity of the grapes at the time of harvest. The less mature they are, the greater their content of pyrazines and may exhibit pronounced flavors of green pepper and vegetables. When it is harvested too ripe, wines can take flavors of the wine and may have aromas of blackcurrant stews. Some winemakers choose to harvest their grapes at different levels of maturity to incorporate different elements and add more complexity to the wine. When the cabernet sauvignon wine is young, it usually exhibits a strong taste of black cherries and plum. The aroma of black currant is one of the most distinctive characteristics of cabernet sauvignon, as it is present in almost all styles of that wine in the world. The styles of certain regions and certain producers may also have aromas of eucalyptus, mint and tobacco. As wines age they can develop aromas of cedar, box of cigars and pencil shavings. Generally, New World wines have pronounced fruity notes while Europeans can be more austere and have an earthy character. In the 19th and 20th centuries, much of Cabernet Sauvignon’s reputation was built on its ability to age in the bottle. In addition to softening their austere tannins, aged cabernet wines can bring out aromas and flavors and add complexity to wines.

MonastrellGrape very fruity and sweet, produces great wines, intense and of considerable graduation. We speak of the main variety of areas of the Spanish southwest. Alicante, Murcia (Yecla, Jumilla and Bullas) and Valencia. Monastrell tends to produce tannic wines that may have a high alcohol content. The style of wine produced from this grape varies greatly depending on where it is produced, but according to the wine expert Jancis Robinson the monastrell often has notes on land and game animals as well as aromas of fruits Soft reds. In Spain, monastrell has been the fourth most popular grape variety of wine grape planted at the beginning of the 21st century, with 63,000 ha in 2004. Like other Spanish varieties, their numbers have declined in recent years (in 1996 there were 100,000 ha) 8 of this vine in Spain. This is because many farmers have started the old vineyards to replant them with the most popular international varieties, such as cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay.

MencíaSweet grape and arómatica, quite alcoholic that ends up turning into wines of enrome personality. Is located mainly in El Bierzo as well as in southeastern areas of Galicia, where it focuses on the denominations of origin of Ribeira Sacra, Valdeorras and Monterrey. In the lands of Ribeira Sacra it is cultivated in bench, many of them established during the Roman time. With mencía are produced young red wines, but stands out above all for its capacity for aging in barrel. Mencía produces wines of intense raspberry color, very aromatic (with aromas of fruits and floral nuances) and a characteristic velvety palate. In addition, they express very well the terroir (see here what is the terroir), resulting wines balanced and structured, wide in the mouth. The mencía variety is also used for the production of rosy, aromatic, fruity and light wines.

MerlotFrom Bordeaux, is the threshold of fine and aromatic wines. After Cabernet – Sauvignon is the most frequent grape in the world. Merlot wine is characterized by its fineness and softness, while remaining aromatic and meaty. It is of very intense ruby color, of medium graduation and it ages quickly without losing quality.

BobalRich in coloring matters, it offers good reds and rosés. Very present in Valencia (Utiel-Requena), Cuenca and Albacete. It produces wines with a dark cherry color with violet tones. It offers a light aroma with herbaceous tones and a medium acidity. It is a rough wine with a high content of tannins.Before it was used like wine of grass to mix with the airén. Good results are now being obtained in the production of fresh and fruity rosé wines. It is especially abundant in the Valencian Community, where the surface of this vine is superior to the 1.000 hectares. The second region where it abounds is Castilla y León. In Madrid, Andalusia, Extremadura, Murcia, Catalonia and Castilla-La Mancha there are also plantations of this vine, but occupying an area of less than 100 hectares. 

Pinot NoirMore Frenchified grapes, this variety ink is one of the bases of champagne and the wines resulting from it are medium intensity and fruity composition. It is mainly found in Catalonia, Navarra, Aragon and Castilla y Leon. The Pinot noir wines are among the most famous in the world. Joel Fleishchman of Vanity Fair magazine describes pinot noir as “the most romantic wine, as voluptuous as a perfume, so sweet and sharp, and so powerful and powerful that, like love, it runs hot blood and The wax of the soul in a poetic way. “21 Master sommelier Madeline Triffon defined pinot as” sex in a cup “. The great range of bouquets, flavors, textures and impressions produced by pinot noir sometimes confuses those who taste it.4 In general terms, their wines tend to have a light to medium body with aromatic reminiscences of cherry, raspberry and , To a lesser extent, red currant, and other small red and black fruits.

Syrah: Also called Shiraz. It has an uncertain Persian origin and is simple to cultivate. It is practically new in our country, but it arouses great interest for its quality and for how well it has adapted to our lands. It was introduced in Spain by the Marquess of Griñón and is mainly found in Castilla (Toledo), Valencia and Murcia to complement very well in multivarietales wines with the monastrell, although at the moment in the zones of Jumilla and Alicante great monovarietales of this grape are produced. Aragon (Cariñena, Calatayud, Campo de Borja) and Catalonia (Priory, Montsant, Terra Alta, Tarragona) has combined well with Garnacha and Carignan. Syrah has also settled in the Balearics.

GarnachaGrenache (in French, grenache) is one of the most widely planted red grapes in the world. It is simply referred to as Grenache to refer to ink or noir, although it has a number of relatives who also have a wide circulation , Emphasizing the white Grenache, the hairy Grenache and the Garnacha tintorera. The garnacha matures late, so it needs dry and warm conditions like those that can be found in Spain, from where surely it is original. The garnacha matures late, so it needs dry and warm conditions like those that can be found in Spain, from where surely it is original. It is found in the areas of La Rioja and Priorato, as well as in the mountainous areas southwest of Madrid, north of the province of Toledo (D.O. Méntrida) and Cebreros (Ávila). Other winegrowing regions with considerable Garnacha plantations include Costers del Segre, L’Empordá-Costa Brava, La Mancha, Madrid, Penedés, Somontano, Tarragona, Terra Alta.



AlbariñoGrapes Galician, of small and sweet grain, that turned into the famous and excellent white wines that we know. It is the typical variety of the Rías Baixas. Its wines have a high alcohol content and a remarkable acidity. It has a great aromatic potential fruity with floral nuances. Its monovarietales are the most prestigious white wines of Galicia. It is usual to consume them young, although some wineries elaborate them with aging in barrel. Some winemakers do not consider it positive that it is sometimes too fruity and cloying. This can be solved by parenting. That some albariños preserve this cloying characteristic is paradoxical since it is one of the few Spanish white grapes that allows an optimal breeding on lees.

ChardonnayGrape with personality and finesse, like the wines that are elaborated of her. It is the essential variety with which the Champagne is made.Chardonnay is a variety of green skin grapes used to make white wine. It originates from the wine-growing region of Burgundy, in eastern France, but now grows everywhere where wine is produced. The chardonnay grape is very neutral, with many of the flavors commonly associated with grapes and those derived from the terroir and the oak. The list of Spanish appellations of origin that support chardonnay is enormous. To promote a better international marketing of wine some Spanish regions began to plant chardonnay and cabernet but had the opposite effect, since what the customer seeks is a wine with its own personality. Catalonia, in particular Penedés, and Navarra were the regions where these strains had the most strain. In 2002 in Penedes there were 1,000 ha of chardonnay and 1,200 ha of cabernet.

MacabeoIt is a white grape with which an elegant wine is made, light and with a fine aroma. Also well-known like viura, in Spain is habitual in the production of white wine of La Rioja and in the production of cava in Catalonia. This grape is widely used to make young white wines of average acidity, which can be mixed with other varieties of white or red grapes. It is the most frequent white grape in the white wine of La Rioja and sometimes it is added in small amounts to the wines of tempranillo and garnacha ink in versions without aging in barrel. It was introduced in La Rioja after the phylloxera epidemic, replacing in many vineyards the malvasia and the white Grenache, by the capacity of its wines to resist oxidation.

Verdejo: The white green, or simply green, is a white grape from Spain. It is the product of a cross between the traminer (also known as savagnin) and the white Castilian. It is present, above all, in the community of Castile and Leon. The next region where there is more green is Extremadura, followed by Castilla-La Mancha. There are small amounts planted in Asturias, Catalonia and Murcia. The wines are moderately alcoholic. They have a greenish-yellow color with steely tones. They are very aromatic and the aromas of bitter almond stand out. Its acidity is medium-high and it is wines with body, but with a certain softness and a slightly bitter aftertaste. Usually used for the elaboration of generous wines similar to sherry, mixing it with the palomino. At present, young single-varietal wines or mixed with sauvignon and macabeo are produced in different proportions. At the present time, a verdejo wine is also made with fermentation or aging in oak barrels. The aging in oak barrels gives it complexity. 

GodelloThe Godello is a variety of white grape wine that grows in northwestern Spain, especially in Galicia.1 It is believed that the gouveio grape, which is found mainly in the Trás-os-Montes region, Portugal, is the Same variety. The godello is present in Galicia and, to a lesser extent, in Castilla y León. In Galicia, it is more abundant in the Valdeorras DO, where plantations have increased after a period of decline. It produces single-varietal wines with an acidity and a level of Medium-high alcohol. It has a mildly honeyed taste and an elegant bitterness. In 2011 Parker’s Jay Miller gave 90 points to a godello wine of 2010 called Rúa.This made the godello able to produce copies at the level of the Best wines from the DO Rías Baixas.These wines can be fermented and grown in oak barrels, being able to develop more complex aromas, fruits and floral, and notes of almond flavor. 

MoscatelMuscat grapes include 200 varieties Among the most notable members of the Muscat family are the Muscat blanc à petits grains (Muscat blanc à petits grains). From the muscatel grape you can obtain a dry wine, very aromatic although it can be submitted to partial alcoholic fermentation to obtain a semi-sweet wine. Also from the grape muscatel produces a wine of liqueur, usually called mistela in the area of Valencia. A grape that usually likes the Sun and is characterized by being a very sweet grape.