- Possibly the most-lauded of all the Spanish grapes, the Tempranillo continues to enjoy worldwide praise for the role it plays in many of the country’s top-class reds, including those of Rioja and Ribera del Duero. Its name comes from the Spanish word temprano meaning “early.” This refers to the fact that it tends to ripen sooner than many other varieties.
- According to one belief, Tempranillo was introduced to Spain from Burgundy, by Cistercian Monks travelling to Santiago de Compostela
- This grape variety flourishes on limestone soils in climates that experience large discrepancies between day and night-time temperatures, facilitating the development of rich and intense ripe fruit flavours.
- Tempranillo generally produces middle-weight, highly fruit-driven wines, with a good structure and silken texture. In its youth, it displays an attractive, ruby-red colour, with aromas of strawberries and subtle spices.
- The Garnacha grape is known for producing superbly expressive red wines, especially in the regions of Aragón and Priorato. The noble grape also produces very good wines in the Barossa Valley (Australia) and in the Southern Rhône area (Chateauneuf du Pape), where it is more commonly known as Grenache.
- The origin of the grape however is 100% Spanish, with most experts citing Aragón as the birthplace of this variety.
- This grape is cultivated on dry and well-drained soils. It has a light red colour. Its charming structure is smooth and well-rounded, with aromas of rich black fruits, developing peppery and meaty flavours. It is also greatly used for the production of rosé wines.
- The Monastrell grape is known by several different names throughout the world. In Provence, for example it is known as Mourvèdre, and can also be found in Australia and California by the name of Mataro.
- The origin of this grape however is most certainly Spanish, as the names are most likely derived from the towns of Murviedro near Valencia and Mataró near the Catalan capital of Barcelona.
- This grape variety requires warm climates and clay soils, where it tends to produce small, sweet, thick-skinned berries, high in both alcohol and tannins. Producing full-bodied wines which age extremely well, this grape offers aromas of spices and blackberries.
- Chardonnay has almost single-handedly changed the fortunes of many wine-growing regions and countries. The appeal of Chardonnay lies in its adaptability and its ability to retain
- Chardonnay-like character no matter where it is grown. So many countries, with so many climates, produce so many styles from so many wine-making techniques.
- Chardonnay has been the greatest benefactor of the "New World2 way of labelling wines by the grape varietal instead of the region. Chardonnay can range in styles from crisp and structured, through full and rich, all the way to syrupy and fat. Flavours roam from citrus to tropical fruits, to smoke and butter, and even herbs and red raspberry.
- One of the classic Vinifera grapes, the Sauvignon Blanc has enjoyed success in many corners of the winegrowing world.
- Sauvignon Blanc is a vigorous varietal whose wines have become synonymous with "light and crisp." From its origins in the Bordeaux region of France, Sauvignon Blanc has gained fame for producing wines that are high in acidity, citrus fruits, minerals, herbs and grassy notes.
- Common are aromas and flavours of grapefruit, lime zest, slate, fresh grass, straw or even a certain smoky character. Most versions are best consumed young and fresh.
- A 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 and known elsewhere in the world as Muscat.
- There are several different forms of Moscatel, including the very popular Moscatel de Alejandría, a seductively perfumed and vibrantly floral grape, or the noble Muscat à Petits Grains, a rarer, but equally intriguing example.
Viura (aka Macabeo)
- The Viura grape takes well to hot and dry regions.
- Both still and sparkling wines from the Viura grape tend to be dry, medium in acidity, have excellent structure and notes of delicate wildflowers and almonds.
- Viura wines are best consumed young and can be blended to great effect with Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc.
- The grape now makes up 90% of the still white wine production of Rioja. It can also be found in southern France, particularly in the Languedoc area where it is usually blended with Grenache Blanc.