Foods and Wines

White Grapes

Airén

White. This variety covers the most surface area of any variety in Spain. Originally from La Mancha and cultivated throughout central Spain, it is the principal variety in PDOs Mancha and Valdepeñas. This vigorous and high-yield vine ripens late and is characterized by large and compact clusters. It is used to make young wines that are pale yellow and dry with fruity aromas. Wines are expansive and full-bodied on the palate.

Alarije

White. From Extremadura and extremely prolific in the Cañamero area, this variety has extended throughout different regions of Spain. It is highly fertile and ripens early. It is ideal for naturally balancing the acidity found in other varieties. Young wines are crisp and pale yellow with aromatic notes of apple and pear. Also called: Malvasía, Subirat, Malvasía Riojana.

Albarínalbarin

White. Cultivated in Asturias, its fruit is yellowish-green in color. Its flavor is reminiscent of Moscatel, and its crisp acidity makes it extremely interesting for fruity young wines. Also called: Raposo, Blanco Verdin.

Albariño

White. Considered native to Galicia, it is the main variety in PDOs Rias Baixas, Ribeira Sacra, Valdeorras. Clusters are small, ripen early and are reasonably hearty. Its production is limited by low yield and limited plantings. Wines are high quality, with notable acidity, ample aromas and floral notes.

Albilloalbillo

White. Probably from the Ribera del Duero area. Medium-sized clusters with fruit that is yellow with brown speckles. These wines are characterized by balanced acidity and alcohol levels, as well as fruity aromas and a hearty structure. Also called: Albillo, Mayor, Doradilla, Turruntés.

Albillo Real

White. Preferred variety in PDO Vinos de Madrid. Clusters are small, golden and ripen early. It is low yield. Though not very aromatic, it does have delicate notes of honey. When harvested late this variety lends a silkiness and structure to wines. These thin-skinned grapes are also highly valued as table grapes. Also called: Albillo de Madrid, Blanco del país, Castellano.

Alcañón

White. Cultivated in PDO Somontano. Clusters are large and extremely loose, with medium-sized fruit. The resulting wines are rich in alcohol and low in acidity. It is an interesting variety for blending with others.

Baboso Blanco

White. Cultivated in the Canary Islands, but orginally from mainland Spain. Found in PDOs Abona, El Hierro, La Palma, Tacoronte-Acentejo, Valle de la Orotava and Ycoden-Daute-Isora. Wines are light with floral and herbaceous notes. Also called: Bastardo Blanco, Calagraño, Baladí Verdejo.

Beba

White. Used for making wine and as a table grape. Principal variety in PDO Ribera del Guadiana. Its clusters are large and very compact. The resulting wines are crisp and fruity. Also called: Eva, Montúa.

Bermejuelo

White. From the Canary Islands. Preferred variety in PDOs Abona, El Hierro, La Palma, Tacoronte-Acentejo, Valle de la Orotava and Ycoden-Daute-Isora. Wines are crisp with notable acidity and aromas of tropical fruit. Also called: Marmajuelo.

Caíño Blanco

White. Cultivated in Galicia. Preferred variety in PDOs Rias Baixas and Monterrei. Small, compact clusters that bud early. Very limited plantings.

Cayetana Blanca

White. From Andalusia. Principal variety in PDO Ribera del Guadiana. Large and fairly compact clusters. It is found mainly in Extremadura. High-yield. Also called: Blanco Jaén, Marisancha, Pardina* (the synonymy of Pardina is currently being researched).

Chardonnay

White. French variety from Burgundy. Cultivated in several regions of Spain. Used in PDO Vinos de Pago wines. Characterized by its small grapes, it is a highly aromatic and fruity variety. In cool climates, wines are light-bodied, with high acidity and notes of apple and green plum. This grape is suitable for oak aging, through which it acquires toasted and nutty aromas, while gaining complexity and structure.

Chenín Blanc

White. French variety from the Loire Valley, found in PDOs Alella and Somontano. Its clusters are medium-sized and compact. Greenish-yellow fruit. Aromas of hazelnuts, honey and fruit preserves. Balanced acidity on the palate. Used to make light and fruity wines.

Doña Blancadona-blanca

White. From Extremadura, its vineyards are found along the entire Via de la Plata (Silver Route) from southern to northern Spain. Wines are elegant and aromatic with excellent acidity. Also called: Cigüente, Malvasía Castellana.

Forastera Blanca

White. Widely cultivated in the Canary Islands and considered the principal variety in PDO La Gomera. Its clusters are medium-sized and relatively loose. The fruit is small, round and yellowish-green in color. It is ideal for making young white wines. Early harvest and a gentle cold press produce aromas of rockrose and white flowers. Also called: Forastera Gomera, Gomera blanca, Forastera, Doradilla

Garnacha Blancagarnacha-blanca

White. Widely cultivated in Aragón and Catalonia. Clusters are medium-sized, with small, yellow fruit. Wines have a golden hue and floral aromas. The wines are apt for blending with other varieties, contributing acidity. Also called: Grenache Blanc in France, Alicante blanca, Garnacha gris.

Garrido Fino

White. From Andalusia. Large, compact clusters and large fruit. Low alcohol content and balanced acidity. At times light on the palate with minimal structure.

Gewürztraminer

White variety originally from Central Europe. In Spain it is mainly cultivated in Aragón and Catalonia. The grapes have a characteristic pink color, intense aromas and citrus notes. In cooler climates it attains notable sugar levels. The wines are dry, with floral aromas that are reminiscent of roses and fruit such as litchis and passion fruit. Quality, sweet wines are made from grapes affected by noble rot, and late harvest yields spectacular results.

Godellogodello

White. From Galicia, it is related to Castile-Leon’s Verdejo. Preferred variety in PDOs Ribeira Sacra and Valdeorras. Clusters are small, tight and dense. The fruit is small and intensely green in color. A high-quality, extremely aromatic grape. Wines are elegant and delicate, with notable acidity and sweetness, pale in color and perfumed by aromas of citrus fruits and apples. Also called: Verdeja.

Hondarribi Zuri

White. Cultivated in Basque Country. The clusters are small and compact. Principal variety in PDOs Chacolí de Alava-Arabako Txakolina, Chacolí de Vizcaya-Bizkaiko Txakolina and Chacolí de Guetaria-Getariako Txakolina. The grapes are small to medium-sized. Wines have aromas of citrus fruit, plants and flowers, and well-defined acidity.

Listán de Huelva

White. From Andalusia. Late budding and large fruit. Medium alcohol and acidity levels. Primary aromas of white flowers. Frequently blended with other, sturdier varieties, resulting in crisp and fruity wines. Also used to make traditional fortified wines that are subject to the criaderas (nurseries) and soleras (floors) aging process. Also called: Listán Blanca (in the Canary Islands Listán Blanco is the name of a variety that is the same as Palomino Fino), Castellano.

Loureira

White. From Galicia. Principal variety in PDOs Monterrei, Rias Baixas, Ribeira Sacra and Ribeiro. The clusters are compact and the fruit round and medium-small. Loureiro wines have a green hue and aromas reminiscent of laurel. They are light on the palate, with good acidity and low alcohol content. Also called: Marqués, Loureiro Blanco.

Macabeomacabeo

White. Possibly from Aragón, though it is cultivated throughout Spain. Principal variety in PDOs Cava, Calatayud, Conca de Barberà, Costers del Segre, Navarra, Penedès, Rioja, Somontano, Tarragona and Terra Alta. Large and compact clusters and medium-sized fruit. Wines are delicate and pale yellow in color with tinges of green. Low acidity and plant aromas. It is usually blended with more aromatic varieties, and together with Xarello and Parellada, it forms the base for Cava. Wines made using this variety in La Rioja are frequently barrel fermented. Also called: Viura.

Malvar

White. Principal variety in PDO Vinos de Madrid. Early ripening and large clusters. Wines are aromatic, greenish in color and give off aromas of bitter almond. They are silky and bold on the palate. These wines have a distinctive personality and form part of the Sobremadre wines, which are found exclusively in Madrid.

Malvasía Volcánica

White. According to molecular studies, it might be the result of a spontaneous cross between Malvasia Aromática and Bermejuela, from the Canary Islands. Principal variety in PDOs Abona, El Hierro, Gran Canaria, La Gomera, La Palma, Lanzarote, Valle de Güimar, Tacoronte-Acentejo, Valle de la Orotava and Ycoden-Daute-Isora. This early budding vine makes high-alcohol, golden-hued young wines and liquor wines.

Malvasía de Sitgesmalvasia-de-sitges

White. Native to Sitges. Due to the characteristic nature of local vegetation, it is harvested late. Its elevated alcohol and acidity levels, and proximity to the sea, result in a sweet wine with a high alcohol content.

Maturana Blanca

White. Found in La Rioja. Principal variety in PDOCa Rioja. Clusters are small, compact and bright green in color. Wines are aromatic. When ripe, it gives off lemony aromas. Has good acidity and alcohol content and its low glycerol levels amplify the sour and bitter sensations that linger on the palate.

Merseguera

White. Originally from Valencia. Preferred variety in PDOs Alicante, Utiel-Requena, Valencia and Yecla. The clusters are medium-sized and relatively loose, with medium, yellowish-green grapes. White wines are pale, with herbaceous notes, nutty undertones, and medium acidity. In hot climates it is used to make semi-sweet wines. Also called: Blanqueta, Verema blanco.

Moll

White. From the Balearic Islands. Main variety in Binissalem and Pla i Llevant. Wines are light with floral and tropical fruit notes. Alcohol and acidity levels are balanced on the palate. Also called: Prensal blanco.

Moscatel de Alejandría

White. Of exceptional sensory quality, with particular emphasis on its aromatic intensity and versatility in the making of both white and sparkling wines, as well as a large range of liquor wines. Main variety in PDOs Málaga and Valencia.

Moscatel de Grano Menudomoscatel-de-grano-menudo

White. This is perhaps one of the oldest varieties in Spain. Extensively cultivated in Castile-La Mancha, Navarre and Catalonia, its clusters are cylindrical and compact. Grapes are small and sweet, and can range in color from yellow to mahogany. Wines made from this variety are highly aromatic with an elevated alcohol content, making them suitable for dry, sweet, mistelas (fortified must) and liquor wines. When the grapes are dried, the resulting wines are luscious with a liquor-like quality. Also called: Moscatel Blanco, Morisco, Moscatel Romano, Muscat.

Palominopalomino

White. Planted along the entire Via de la Plata (Silver Route) to Galicia. Clusters are of medium-high compactness, with round, medium fruit that have fine skin and a yellowish-green color. The fruit is juicy, fragile, sweet and flavorful, with only faintly tinted juice. Preferred variety in PDOs Jerez-Xérès-Sherry y Manzanilla-Sanlúcar de Barrameda. Also called: Listán, Jerez, Palomilla.

Palomino Fino

White. The most traditional variety in the Marco de Jerez. Used for producing sherry wines fortified with holandas (base alcohol also used for brandies) and aged through a system of criaderas (nurseries) and soleras (floors). Preferred variety in PDOs Jerez-Xérès-Sherry y Manzanilla-Sanlúcar de Barrameda. Also called: Listán Blanco de Canarias, Jerezana Fina.

Pardillo

White. Found almost exclusively in Castile-La Mancha. Preferred variety in PDO La Manchuela. The clusters are medium-small in size and very compact. The grapes are medium-sized and have a greenish hue. The variety lends acidity to wines and is frequently used for blending with other grapes to naturally enhance a wine’s acidity. Its strong resistance to oxidation makes it suitable for aging in oak barrels. Also called: Verdoncho and Marisancho.

Parellada

White. From Catalonia. Its clusters are large and compact. It has a low alcohol content and high acidity level. The wines are crisp, light and silky on the palate, with significant citrus notes. It is blended with other varieties to make Cavas, as well as young wines. Also called: Montonés.

Pedro Ximénezpedro-ximenez

White. The origins of this variety are unknown and controversial, but it is widely cultivated in Jerez. Very extensive planting throughout Andalusia. Main variety in PDOs Jerez-Xérès-Sherry y Manzanilla-Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Malaga, Sierra de Málaga and Montilla Moriles. The clusters are large and not very compact, with small or medium-sized round grapes. Wines are made using dried grapes, resulting in sweet wines with ample dry extract that are mahogany colored and aromatically complex, leaving an agreeable sensation of softness and sweetness on the palate. Also cultivated in New World countries such as Argentina, Chile and New Zealand.

Planta Fina de Pedralba

White. From the Levante (eastern Spain). Principal variety in PDOs Valencia and Alicante. It has an extremely large cluster. Wines have aromas of apples and herbs, and average acidity.

Planta Novaplanta-nova

White. Originally from Castellón. The clusters are large and conical with medium-sized fruit. The wines have minimal aromas, with notes of green and citrus fruit. Used to make young wines. It is typically blended with other varieties. Also called: Tardana, Pansa Nova.

Riesling

White. Originally from Central Europe and used to make the most prestigious wines of Alsace, Mosel and the Rhine. In Spain it is grown mainly in Catalonia and D.O Somontano. Of small size, yellow color and low production. Riesling grapes that have been affected by noble rot are used to make dessert wines. These wines are notable for their special honeyed and smoky notes and suitability for aging. In the Catalan region of Penedès, a special wine called Vi de gel is produced, in the style of the ice wines of Germany.

Sabro

White. Originally from the Canary Islands. Early ripening and small fruit. Produces wines with good alcoholic content and acidity. Has honeyed aromas and is crisp on the palate. It is ideal for making naturally sweet wines.

Sauvignon Blanc

White. Originally from the Bordeaux region of France. Primarily cultivated in PDO Rueda and PDO Penedès. Produces elegant, dry and acidic wines with fruity aromas. Suitable for late harvest wines.

Torrontés

White. Principally cultivated in nearly all of the PDOs in Galicia and the Canary Islands. Its clusters are medium-sized, elongated and loose, and the grapes are medium-large. When harvested early, the wines have good acidity and are crisp, with hints of ripe apples. Also called: Gual, Boal.

Treixadura

White. From Galicia. Preferred variety in PDOs Monterrei, Rias Baixas, Ribeira Sacra and Ribeiro. The grapes are medium-sized, with large and compact clusters. Its flavor is reminiscent of apples. Has high acidity and ripens well. Very tolerant of drying and therefore used to make sweet wines know as tostados (toasted), which are golden-colored and full-bodied with complex aromas of raisins and dates, and a succulent and lingering palate.

Verdejoverdejo

White. Originally from the area of Rueda. Cultivated in Castile-Leon, it is the principal variety in PDO Rueda. Clusters are small, as are the grapes. Single-variety Verdejo wines are vibrant greenish-yellow in color and highly aromatic, with good body, luscious and soft. Possesses good acidity and a characteristic, bitter finish. Also called: Verdello, Verdeja and de Gallo Blanco.

Verdil

White. Originates in the Levante (eastern Spain). Found in PDOs Alicante and Valencia. The clusters are large. Produces straw-yellow colored wines with good acidity, although its alcoholic content is typically not very high. Has aromas reminiscent of lemon, and produces light and crisp wines. Used for both young and sparkling wines.

Vijariego

White. Found in all the PDOs in the Canary Islands. Clusters are large. Typically low alcohol content with balanced acidity, leads to crisp, delicate wines with aromas of mountain plants and desert flowers, which are slightly effervescent and succulent.

Viognier

White. French grape originally from the Rhône. In Spain it is found in hot climates like Andalusia, Castile-La Mancha, Murcia and the Balearic Islands. This grape has the ability to age elegantly. The wines are fine, complex and very aromatic, with notes of flowers and fruit including apples and mango.

Xarel-loxarel-lo

White. Its origin is likely Catalonia. Clusters are medium-sized and tight, with small fruit. Lends body and structure to Cava. Xarello wines are aromatic, with notes of honey and raisins, in addition to well-balanced, sweet and silky. High alcohol content and good acidity.

Zalema

White. Found in Andalusia. Principal variety in D.O Condado de Huelva. Clusters are compact with large fruit. Wines are light with fruit and plant aromas, good acidity and a finish that is marked by a distinct bitterness on the palate.

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