Albariño, grown in the north west of Spain on the border with Portugal, is one to try. It’s an aromatic and fragrant grape variety with notes of peach, apples and citrus. In Spain, Albariño is found in the wine region of Rias Baixas, it’s so popular here that 90% of plantings are of this grape variety! Some wines are aged in oak and surprisingly can age for years.
Here the area borders two large bodies of water; the Atlantic Ocean on the west and the Bay of Biscay to the north. There’s so much rain, nearly 1300mm a year with the vines growing in alluvial soils. As fungal disease in the vineyards can be an issue (due to the wet weather), one way to combat this is to train the vines much higher off the land, on pergola systems.
Since the mid1980s, quality wine from Galicia, in particular the Albariños from Rias Baixas has improved dramatically and there are some stunning wines from this area. As well as green rolling countryside hills that might look more at home in the British countryside, there’s plenty of forests.
In northern Portugal, where it’s also grown in the Vinho Verde region (means ‘green wine’), it’s called Alvarinho producing a wonderfully dry and refreshing style. Across Spain and Portugal, a total of 2000 hectares of 5000 acres are planted.
Talk to us in-store about Albariño.