January 28, 2022 by
Maytte Rivera

In the world of white wine grapes, Albariño holds a special place in the hearts of wine enthusiasts looking for a fresh, zesty alternative.  Records show that Albariño hails from the cool Atlantic coast of northwest Spain known as Galicia, where vines as old as 300 years old can still be found.  Its small, thick-skinned fruit make it hard to produce, needing long sunshine hours and high above ground vine training to keep mold away. It is naturally high acid with light to medium body and refreshing salinity.

Albariño tends to be very fickle when picking a place to grow, preferring the cool moist climate of the regions like Rias Baixas in Galicia and Vinho Verde in Portugal over warmer, drier regions.  However, we are now seeing how it is adapting successfully in places with similar coastal climate to Galicia, like Punta del Este in Uruguay and San Luis Obispo in California, among others.

Rias Baixas (Spain) produces Albariños with piercing salinity and aromas of melon and white apricots, while versions coming from Vinho Verde in Portugal, where it is called Alvarinho, tend to have flavors of citrus and honeydew combined with a slight carbonation. In San Luis Obispo (California) these wines will show more lemons zest and orange blossom. Uruguay benefits from its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean to produce examples with traces of grapefruit and river stones.

Regardless of where it is produced, this grape’s piercing acidity is perfect for our tropical weather, enjoyed by the beach or with a taste of your favorite seafood salad. Prepare your own tasting with these options.

Author: Maytte Rivera
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