This is a very distinctive white grape which is primarily grown in the Spanish region of Galicia. Here, close to the northern extent of Portugal, the granite soils and cool maritime climate elicit fruity and refreshing dry whites, of which the most salient derive from the Albariño grape.
It is thought by some that this grape is in fact Riesling under the guise of Iberian nationality, having been imported by Germanic monks in the 11th century. As with Riesling, crisp, defined flavours distinguish this variety, which, in keeping with regional specialities, is ideally accompanied by seafood.
In the Rías Baixas area, where high yield is sacrificed for superior quality, vines tend to be on steep slopes high up from ground level, so that damp is unlikely to damage the grapes. Over-ripening is prevented by the leaf canopy above the grape.
The grape traversed the Portoguese-Spanish border, cultured in the northern part of the country along the Minho River as a drier, fuller-bodied and more aromatic alternative to the other prominent regional whites, Loureiro and Trajadura. In Portugal, it is known as Alvarinho (see that page for more details).
Well suited to the local damp conditions.
White, aromatic and peachy flavour.