Spanish Grape Varietals from Wines from Spain

This information is reprinted courtesy of © ICEX.

White. This is Spain's most widely planted grape variety. The bunches are large and tightly-packed. It produces wines with a characteristic bouquet and alcohol content between 12% vol. and 14% vol. It can be found, among other regions, in Ciudad Real (51% of planting), Toledo, Cuenca, Albacete, Murcia and Madrid. It is the main variety in Vinos de Madrid DO.

White. Found in a large number of wine-growing areas in Extremadura. One of the most common varieties in the area around Cañamero.

White. This grape is found in small quantities in Ribera del Ulla. However, it produces very aromatic, personal wines. It is quite different from Albariño, despite the similarity in their names.

White. Native to Galicia, with small, very sweet glyceric berries which produce high quality wines. It is the basic grape of Rías Baixas DO. There has been a dramatic increase in the area planted with this grape over the last few years.

White. This is a relatively neutral grape with an interesting glycerol level that brings smoothness to the wines in which it is used. It is mainly found in Madrid, Ávila and also in Galicia. It is an authorised Ribeiro DO variety, and a major variety in Vinos de Madrid DO.

White. Native to the Somontano growing area in Aragón. It produces light white wines with a distinctive bouquet.

See Garnacha Tintorera.

This is the name given to the Garnacha variety in certain areas of Castile and León. Tinto Aragonés is an alternative name.

See Aragón.

A red grape which can give wines very rich colouring. Although its quality is debated, it yields good rosé wines. Found mainly in Valencia, Cuenca and Albacete.

White. Widely found in the wine-growing areas of Extremadura. It is quite prolific, but does not offer high quality.

Red. Native to Galicia. It is one of the Rías Baixas DO's authorised varieties, although it is very rare and in danger of extinction. It can produce good quality wine.

Cabernet Franc
Red. Originated in Bordeaux, like Cabernet Sauvignon, but yields softer wines. This variety is thought to be related to Mencía, which is plentiful in some areas of Galicia and Castile.

Cabernet Sauvignon
Red. Originally from the French Médoc, it is now found on every continent. In Spain, it is planted principally in Catalonia, Navarre and Ribera del Duero, although it is being tried out in many other regions of Spain as well.

White or red. Another rare Galician variety. The red grape is a main variety in Ribeiro DO, and an authorised variety in Rías Baixas DO. The white grape is authorised in Rías Baixas.

White. One of the Rioja's old native varieties, this grape yielded white wines which, although hard and coarse, responded well to ageing. Today it is considered extinct by the DOCa Rioja Regulatory Council, but apparently some stock can still be found in the vicinity of San Asensio and certain other parts of La Rioja.

Red. Produces robust, balanced wines. An excellent complement to Garnacha, it is widely planted in Catalonia and La Rioja, where it is known as "Mazuela". It is also considered a main variety in Calatayud, Costers del Segre, Penedés, Tarragona and Terra Alta DOs.

White. High yield grape. Found in Badajoz (99%) and Cáceres.

The name given to Tempranillo in certain regions in the centre and south of Spain. See Tempranillo.

White. Very fine, high quality grape which makes aromatic wines that give good results without long ageing. Originally from Burgundy, it is covered by the regulations on sparkling wines, and by those of Costers del Segre and Navarra DOs.

Red. Native to Galicia, but like many other quality Galician varieties, it is very scarce. Authorised in Rías Baixas DO.

White. Plentiful in the Bajo Ebro region (Tarragona) and in San Mateo (Castellón). It may be the Merseguera variety, as it has adapted to these regions.

Red. Authorised in Ribeiro DO. Very scarce.

Red. Found on the island of Majorca where it is the main grape in the Felanitx area. It has certain similarities to the French Gamay grape, the basic variety in Beaujolais wines.

White. A common variety in certain areas of the Canary Islands, especially on the island of Gomera.

Red. A grape with high yields, producing wines with a very specific aroma, but rather unstable colours. Authorised in Valencia DO.

See Garnacha Blanca, Garnacha Tinta and Garnacha Tintorera.

Garnacha Blanca
White Garnacha. Produces full-bodied wines with a high alcohol content. Very abundant throughout Spain, especially in Tarragona, Zaragoza and Teruel. It is classified as a main variety in Alella, Costers del Segre, Tarragona and Terra Alta DOs.

Garnacha Tinta
Red Garnacha. A high-yielding grape that produces vigorous wines. This is the most widely grown red grape in Spain, especially in La Rioja, Madrid, Navarre, Tarragona, Teruel, Toledo and Zaragoza. It is considered a main variety in the following DOs: Ampurdán-Costa Brava, Calatayud, Campo de Borja, Cariñena, Costers del Segre, La Mancha, Méntrida, Penedés, Priorato, Somontano, Tarragona, Terra Alta, Utiel-Requena, Valdeorras and Vinos de Madrid.

Garnacha Tintorera
Red. This grape, also known as Alicante, is so-called because it is the only variety, along with Alicante Bouché, which has coloured flesh (tintorera comes from the verb teñir = to dye). It is widely planted in Albacete, Alicante, Orense and Pontevedra, and it is considered a main variety in Almansa DO.

White. A high quality, very aromatic grape. Native to Galicia, new planting has been encouraged in the last few years, especially in Valdeorras DO. It is considered a main variety in Valdeorras and Bierzo DOs.

Red grape with a low yield, which produces highly prized wines. Young Graciano wines are very tannic, rough and tart, but develop superbly during ageing, both in cask and bottle. For this reason, these grapes are present in Gran Reservas from La Rioja and Navarre. The Graciano grape is not very abundant due to its low yields and can often be found mixed with other grapes in the same vineyard.

White (zuri, in Basque) and red (beltza). These are the basic varieties in traditional Basque chacolí. The white version is more common in Chacolí de Guetaria DO, whereas the red is plentiful in Chacolí de Vizcaya DO.

Hondarribi Beltza
See Hondarribi.

Hondarribi Zuri
See Hondarribi.

Red. High-yield grape. Found in Badajoz, some parts of the Canary Islands, Granada, Madrid and Toledo.

Juan García
Red. Native to the Fermoselle area in Zamora, where it is the main grape grown. It can produce interesting young wines with medium alcohol content (12% vol.).

Juan Ibáñez
Red. Found in Cariñena DO. It is not very common, and is usually grown alongside other varieties in the same vineyard.

White. Found in Ribeiro DO, although there is no provision for it in the regulations. It makes for light wines with substantial acidity, but with considerable aromatic strength and quality.

White. Authorised in Montilla-Moriles DO and closely related to Airén.

White. Also known as the Palomino fino (sherry) grape in Jerez and the Canary Islands.

Listán Negro
Red. Variety found in some parts of Northern Tenerife and on other islands in the Canaries. It makes interesting young red wines.

White high quality Galician grape that creates very aromatic wines. Authorised in Rías Baixas and Ribeiro DOs. There is also a red Loureira, but it is very rare.

Loureira Tinta
See Loureira.

White. Also called Viura. This is the basic cava variety. Mainly found in Badajoz, La Rioja, Tarragona and Zaragoza, this is considered a main variety in Calatayud, Conca de Barberá, Costers del Segre, Navarra, Penedés, Rioja, Somontano, Tarragona and Terra Alta DOs.

Red. Of French origin, this grape was introduced many years ago into Ribera del Duero. Today there are small amounts in other areas.

White. Abundant in Madrid (73%), Guadalajara, and Toledo. It is considered a main variety in Vinos de Madrid DO.

White. Originally from Greece, this grape produces very aromatic and distinctive wines. It is mainly found in Valencia, Zamora and the Canary Islands, and is classified as a main variety in Calatayud DO. There also is a variety known as Malvasía Riojana, widely used in Rioja white wines. In Catalonia, it is known as Subirat Parent.

Malvasía Riojana
See Malvasía.

Manto Negro
Red. A variety native to the Balearic Islands. This is the main grape in Binissalem DO. It produces light, very well balanced wines, with good results after short ageing in cask and bottle.

White. See Loureira.

See Cariñena.

Red. According to recent studies, this grape is very similar to Cabernet Franc. It produces high quality wines and is most widely planted in León (68%), Zamora, Lugo and Orense provinces. It is considered a main variety in Valdeorras and Bierzo DOs.

Red. Authorised in Valdeorras DO, although, like most Galician varieties, it is quite scarce.

A red grape which is the basis for many fine, highly aromatic wines. It comes from the Bordeaux region. After Cabernet Sauvignon, it is the most widespread grape variety in the world. In Spain, it is grown mainly in Ribera del Duero DO and the regions of Catalonia and Navarre.

White grape. Has a distinct personality. Most widely planted in Valencia (69%), Tarragona and Alicante. Considered a main variety in Valencia DO.

White. Also called Prensal. Used in many of the white Majorcan wines. Mostly found in Binissalem, it produces light, balanced white wines.

A red, very sweet and productive grape. It produces wines with a deep colour and considerable alcoholic content. It is mainly found in Murcia (52%), Alicante, Albacete and Valencia and it is considered a main variety in DOs such as Alicante, Almansa, Costers del Segre, Jumilla, Penedés, Valencia and Yecla.

Red. Very widely grown, although almost always in small quantities. It has a certain significance in the "Comarca Vitivinícola" of Cañamero. It is frequently grown as a dessert grape.

Red. Plentiful in Huesca and Zaragoza. Considered a main variety in Somontano DO.

White, superbly aromatic grape with a high sugar content. It produces very characteristic wines and is also frequently consumed directly as a dessert grape. Widely grown across the whole of Spain, it is particularly frequent in Valencia and Málaga. It is also considered a main variety in Málaga and Valencia DOs.

Moza Fresca
White. Also called Valenciana and Doña Blanca. Some people believe this to be the Merseguera variety transplanted to the Valdeorras area of Galicia, where it is most widely planted.

Negra de Madrid
Red. quite productive and hardy. Plentiful in Madrid, Zamora and Toledo provinces.

Red. Characteristic of certain areas in the Canary Islands, especially Tacoronte-Acentejo DO, where it is the main variety. It produces light, soft, aromatic wines of very good quality when young.

White. A basic grape in Jerez wines, called Jerez outside this growing area. Its high yields led to extensive planting in many Spanish regions, especially Galicia. It flourishes in Cádiz (68%), Orense, Valladolid, Zamora and Huelva. It is considered a main variety in Jerez and Condado de Huelva DOs.

Palomino Fino
See Listán.

Pansá Blanca
White. See Xarel.lo o Xarello.

White. Plentiful in Badajoz, especially in the Guadiana area of Ribera Alta (80%), and in Albacete and Cuenca. In some areas it is known as Pardina.

White, very productive and high quality grape. It is one of the basic grapes used when making cava. It thrives in Tarragona (59%), Barcelona and Lérida. It is considered a main variety in the following DOs: Conca de Barberá, Costers del Segre, Penedés, and Tarragona. It is also a key principal variety in DO Cava.

Red. A native grape from the Somontano DO region. It produces light, aromatic wines.

Pedro Ximénez
White grape with a high sugar content. To a greater or lesser extent, it is found almost everywhere in Spain, It is most widespread in Córdoba (68%), Badajoz, Málaga and Valencia and is considered a main variety in the following DOs: Jerez, Málaga, Montilla-Moriles, and Valencia.

Petit Verdot
Red grape originally from Bordeaux and particularly plentiful in Médoc. It is just starting to be used to make wines in Spain.

Pinot Chardonnay

Pinot Noir
Red variety of French origin found across Europe (Germany, northern Italy...), America (California, Chile...) and Australia. Burgundy and Champagne are the Pinot Noir regions par excellence. Recently there have been some examples of wines made with this grape in Spain. It is a variety that buds and ripens early, suitable for cooler northern climates. Although it is a red grape, it is also the basis for white champagne.

Planta Fina
White. Also called Planta Pedralba. Authorised by Valencia DO.

Planta Fina de Pedralba
See Planta Fina.

Planta Nova
White. Authorised by Utiel-Requena DO.

Prieto Picudo
Red grape which produces very aromatic, distinctive wines, rather light in colour but very pleasant. Plentiful in Zamora and León.

Red. Specially plentiful in Aragón and Cañamero areas. Authorised by Ribera del Guadiana D.O.

White. Originated in the Rhine area. High quality, with a characteristic aroma. In Spain, it is mainly found in Catalonia and, to a lesser extent, in Murcia and Huesca.

Red. Found mainly in the Sierra de Salamanca, it produces light wines.

Red. This is a traditional Penedés variety, but is currently not produced in large quantities.

White. Of French origin, this variety performs very well in wines subjected to an ageing process, and in cavas. In Spain it is mainly grown in Castile and León and in Catalonia.

Red. Another of the many native Galician varieties, also very rare. It is covered by the Rías Baixas and Ribeiro DO regulations.

Subirat Parent
White. Considered a main variety in Penedés DO. It is also grown in Rioja, where it is known as Malvasía Riojana.

Red. Grown in Artés (Barcelona) and in Conca de Barberá DO, although it is not covered in the regulations governing this denomination.

Red. A variety thought to have come from Persia, grown extensively in central and southern France. Hermitage wines are usually 100% Syrah. Very little is grown in Spain (principally Catalonia and La Mancha).

Red. Superb quality and very aromatic, the star of Spanish grapes. It is called Ull de Llebre in Catalonia, Cencibel in Castile-La Mancha and Madrid, and Tinto Fino and Tinto del Pais in Castile and Leon. It flourishes in Burgos, La Rioja, Alava, Cuenca and Ciudad Real. It is considered a main variety in the following DOs: Calatayud, Cigales, Conca de Barbera, Costers del Segre, La Mancha, Penedes, Ribera del Duero, Rioja, Somontano, Utiel-Requena, Valdepenas, and Vinos de Madrid.

Tinta de Toro
Red. Produces aromatic, good quality wines, although it does not give high yields. Some maintain that it is an acclimatised version of Tempranillo that has become adapted to the region of Zamora, and that this is also the origin of its name. It is considered a main variety of Toro DO.

Tinta del País
See Tempranillo.

Tinto Fino
See Tempranillo.

White. Originally from Galicia, it produces wines of little body and good acidity, with considerable personality and an intense bouquet. It can be found throughout Galicia and in Córdoba.

White. Native to Galicia, this is one of the most aromatic varieties of Galician grape, and its cultivation is being encouraged in a number of areas. It is considered a main variety in Ribeiro DO.

Red. Found in Costers del Segre and Conca de Barberá DOs.

Ull de Llebre
Red. See Tempranillo.

White. Very high quality and one of the best white varieties in Spain. It makes very aromatic, glyceric, soft wines with body. It is plentiful in Valladolid (69%), Segovia and Ávila. It is considered a main variety of Rueda DO.

White. Found in some parts of the Canary Islands.

White. Found in Alicante and Murcia.

White. Found scattered around La Mancha and Manchuela DOs. It is not considered a quality grape.

White. This variety originated in the northern Côtes du Rhône area. It is still used on a very small scale by Spanish wine-producers, but is likely to gain wider acceptance in the future, given that it is a grape of superb quality that grows well in warm regions.

See Macabeo.

Xarel.lo o Xarello
White. Together with the Macabeo and Parellada varieties, it makes up the trilogy of cava grapes. It produces very aromatic wines. It is considered a main variety in the Alella (where it is known as Pansá), Costers del Segre, Penedés and Tarragona DOs, as well as in denominated cava-producing areas.

White. This variety is not easy to handle as it has a tendency to oxidise rapidly and produces light, rather neutral wines. Found in Huelva (95%) and Seville. It is the most common variety in Condado de Huelva DO.

Where to Buy Spanish Wines

Boston Area

Bauer Wines 617.262.0363
Federal Wine & Spirits 617.367.8605
Martignetti 617.227.4343
Deluca’s Market 617.262.5990
Fine Wine Cellars 617.424.9300
Wine Cellar of Silene 617.424.9300

Chicago Area

Gold Standard Chalet 312.787.8555
Sam's Wine Warehouse 312.664.4394
Marshall Field's 312.781.5390
The Chicago Wine Company 630.594.2972
Bin 36 Chicago 312.755.WINE
Main Street Liquors & Deli 708.54.0355
Just Grapes Wine Shop 312.627.WINE
Sam's Wines & Spirits 312.664.4394
House of Glunz 312.642.3000
Schaefer's Wines and Spirits 708.673.5711
Whole Foods Market 773.755.1500

Miami Area

Old Vines Wine & Spirits 305.858.0717
Laurenzos Market 305.945.6381
Gardner's Markets 305.667.9953
Jo Anna's Market Place 305.661.5777
Leon's Wine & Liquor 305.261.0221
Gulf Liquor..Homestead 305.854.4646
West Kendall Wine & Liquors 305.274.4547
Manny's Liquors 305.948.9877

New York City Area

Acker Merrall Condit 212.787.1700 67
Wines & Spirits 212.724.6767
Astor Wines & Spirits 212.674.7500
Beekman Liquors 212.759.5857
Best Cellars 212.426.4200
Cork & Bottle 212.838.5300
Crossroads 212.924.3060
Crush Wine Co. 212.980 9463
Famous Wines & Liquors 212.422.4743
Garnet Wines & Liquors 212.772.3211
Gotham Liquors 212.876.4120
K & D Wines & Spirits 212.932.0990
Morrell & Co 212.688.9370
Park Avenue liquors 212.685.2442
PJ Wines and liquors 212.567.5500
Shoppers Vineyard 973.916.0707
Sherry.Lehman 212.838.7500
Soho Wines & Spirits Limited 212.777.4332
Union Square Wines 212.675.8100
Warehouse wines & Spirits 212.982.7770
Young´s Fine Wines & Liquors 516.627.1234
Zachys Wine and Liquor Inc. 914.723.0241

San Francisco Area

Artisan Wine and Spirits 800.924.1574
Beverages And More 415.648.1233
Cost Plus Henry Flynn 415.928.6200
D & M Wines and Liquor Company 415.346.1325
Dee Vine Wines 415.398.3838
Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant 866.991.9400
John Walker and Company 415.986.2707
Plumpjack 415.282.3841
The Jug Shop 415.885.2922
The Wine Club 415.512.1196
Whole Foods (SoMa) 415.618.0066
Wine Trading Company 415.731.6222

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