Albariño is a white wine
from Spain that's a light and refreshing alternative if you find yourself tiring of the typical
Chardonnay and Sauv Blanc. Light in alcohol with zesty acidity, Albariño can by recognized by
its characteristic fragrant aroma reminiscent of peaches and apricots.
The History of Albariño
The earliest known references to Albariño trace back to the 12th century in
Iberia, Spain. The name Albariño is believed to be a combination of 'alba' (white) and 'Rino'
(meaning from the Rhine), leading to speculation that the grape variety was brought into Spain from
Alsace or Germany and may be related to Riesling.
the Albariño Grape
Thick-skinned, the Albariño grape is able to withstand high-levels of
humidity and moisture during the growing season. It also can grow in relatively cool climates, like
coastal regions, where high temperatures in the summer rarely break out of the 80's. If grown
in a wetter climate, careful trellissing and pruning are key to ensure good ventilation for the
bunches. The wine is generally aged in stainless steel rather than in oak barrels to preserve the
purity of its flavor and aroma.
Body: light to medium
Acidity: medium to high
Flavors: fruit-forward and clean,
with fresh notes of peach and apricot as well as a complex minerality. Very
Regions Where Albariño is Grown
- In Spain, in Galicia in the northwest part of the country. Rias Baixas is the
best known region for producing Albariño.
- In Portugal, in Vinho Verde, although only permitted in two regions (Monção and
Melgaço). It is grown in some other areas, but is mostly used in
- In California, some vineyards are starting to experiment with
plantings, including the coastal Carneros area and the Santa Ynez Valley.
- Australia also added plantings in the late '80's, but these were discovered in 2009 to be a
different varietal, Savagnin, and not actually Albariño!
Albariño Fast Facts
- Bottled by varietal name, unless part of a blend
- Called Albariño in Spain, or Alvarinho in Portugal
- Famous Producers: Martín Códax, Burgans, Lagar de Cervera
- Not a wine that's designed for aging - best enjoyed while young
Albariño Wine & Food Pairing
excellently with seafood and shellfish, especially mussels and clams, as well as chicken and
light pork dishes. The lively acidity helps the wine pair well even with tangy or
& Wine Recipes Paired with Albarino
- Pork Potstickers with Ginger-Scallion Sauce
Our Top Albarino Picks
2011 La Cana Albariño, Rias
Zesty with hints of candied lemon. Freshly crisp, with a tang that makes your mouth
2011 Burgans Albarino, Rias
Tropical aroma with hints of pineapple and an effusive floral note. Refreshing,
clean and utterly drinkable. ($14)
Buy at Wine.com
2011 Martín Códax Albariño, Rias
Bright and aromatic, with ripe apple and a touch of minerality and
spice that adds complexity. ($19)
Buy at Wine.com
Next Variety: Chardonnay Wine Grape