Nov 2016
Vintage Chart.

Mar 2013
Bacchus 2013.

August 2010
Redesigned layout.

Contact Info
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Madrid, Spain

Phone: (+34) 913 205 911
Fax: (+34) 913 205 911

The Grapes

As we've seen, the majority of Spanish wines are produced from native grapes. The list of all the known native varieties would but be impractical here, as there are literally hundreds of recogized grape varieties. Let's start with the best known ones, as used in the main regions. The D.O. system includes the grape varieties allowed in each D.O. region. Most wines are produced mixing several varieties to achieve the required characteristics: color, alcohol content, balance, aging properties, etc.


D.O. Rioja

Name         Description     Characteristics

Tempranillo     Black           Fine quality, aromatic, good acid balance

Graciano        Black           Aromatic, scarce, low alcohol

Mazuelo         Black           Rich in tannin & color

Garnacha        Black           High alcohol, oxidize easily (Grenache)

Viura           White           Low alcohol, resists oxidation

Malvasia        White           Low alcohol, fresh (of Greek origin)

Garnacha Blanca	  White         Higher alcohol, less acid

D.O. Penedés (Catalonia)

Name         Description     Characteristics

Cariñena        Black          Robust, rich color

Garnacha        Black           Full bodied, high alcohol

Monstrell       Black           Small yield, deep color, sweet

Ull de Llebre   Black           [see Tempranillo]

Macabeo         White           [See Viura] 

Xarel-lo        White           Medium alcohol, sparkling wines

Parellada       White           Low alcohol, high acidity, fruity

Malvasia        White           Fruity, medium alcohol, also used in Madiera

Pansé           White           Coarse, high alcohol

Pedro Ximenez   White           Sweet wines, also used in Montilla

Other regions

Name         Description     Characteristics & (Region)

Bobal           Black           Intense color, used in rosés (Valencia & Albacete) 

Cencibel        Black           [See Tempranillo] (La Mancha) 

Caiño Tinto     Black           In scarce supply (Rías Baixas & Ribeiro ) 

Mencía          Black           Quality similar to Cabernet F.(Valdeorras &

Tinto Fino      Black           Variety of Tempranillo (Ribera del Duero)

Albariño        White           Intense aroma, high quality (Rías Baixas)

Caiño Blanco    White           In scarce supply (Rías Baixas) 

Arien           White           High yield, abundant (La Mancha-Valdepeñas)

Godello         White           Fruity & light (Valdeorras & Rías Baixas)

Loureira        White           High quality, aromatic (Ribeiro)

Palomino        White           High yield, prime grape for sherry (Jerez)

Moscatel        White           Dessert wines (Malaga)

Verdejo         White           High quality, fresh, best young (Rueda)

Note: The photograph illustrates the "Palomino" variety from Jerez
{J.Riis June 1996}