Albariño is one of the most popular Spanish white wines. Its name comes from the Galician word “albar” meaning white and it originates from coastal regions of Spain and Portugal. This refreshing wine is also called Alvarinho, Albarina, Alvarin Blanco, or Galego in some regions. This varietal is dry, acidic, and a favorite among Spanish white wine lovers.
More information about this varietal:
The History of Albariño
Albariño wine is most strongly associated with the Rías Baixas region of Northwest Spain. It has been around for centuries and some of the oldest (300 years old) living vines belong to this varietal. There are a few different theories for how the grape came to this area. One is that the vine was brought in the 12th century by Cistercian monks who traveled from France. Other experts believe the grape was originally from Central Europe and was brought to Spain by migrating Germanic groups in the 5th century. There is also evidence that the grape was native to Rías Baixas.
Production of Albariño began to take off in the 1980s when an official denomination was created for the varietal. Before this, it was mostly used in Spanish white wine blends rather than on its own. In addition to being grown in Spain, Albariño wines are also produced in Portugal and at our Sonoita vineyard.
The Albariño Grape
Albariño grapes are green, small, and have thick skins. The high phenol content of the skin gives this wine a slight bitterness. These white grapes are typically planted with wide spacing and on high Pergolas to keep them dry. The height also allows for maximum breeze circulation, which enhances the flavor of the grapes. In the past, the vines would often be grown around Poplar tree trunks at the edges of a vineyard. This method is still used in some regions of Portugal.
Characteristics of Albariño
Albariño wines have a high acidity and feature refreshing notes of zesty citrus, Meyer lemon, apricot, and tangy grapefruit pith. There are some hints of subtle sweetness in the form of nectarine and honeydew. However, the wine is dry overall. This light-bodied wine is best enjoyed chilled and pairs beautifully with all types of seafood including scampi, ceviche, and fish. We also find that it is a delightful accompaniment for flavorful cheeses or spicy curry. The slight bitterness enhances spice without becoming overwhelming.
Our Albariño Wines
Bringing out the unique characteristics of this varietal requires care and expertise. At Wilhelm Family Vineyards, we ferment our Albariño wines slowly at 50ºF in stainless steel. This brings out the stone fruit notes and crisp acidity of this lovely Spanish white wine. You can purchase our 2019 Albariño online or at either of our tasting rooms.