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At a glance

Country of Origin: Spain
Region of Origin: Northwest
Typical Product: White
Structure: Light
Climate: Cool to Warm
Soil Type: Sandy
Serving Temp: 45 - 50F
Ageability: 1 to 3
Sauces to Pair:
Meals to Pair:
Other Names*:


Albarino's origins lie in the Rias Baixas region of Galicia in Northwestern Spain.  From there it migrated into Portugal where it goes by the name Alvarinho.  There is no documented evidence indicating when Albarino was brought the US and the lack of any older records indicates that it's probably a recent arrival.  It is the most highly regarded of the white Spanish Varietals and is one of the few that is traditionally left on its own rather than blended.  In Portugal, it is blended more often than not.
The fruit is generally small with thick greens skins, which can be some protection against rot that could be induced by Galicia's wet climate. Interestingly, Albarino is some times grown in an old word style in and around poplar trees instead a more modern trellis system.  Some Albarino vines in Galicia are over 450 years old and are still producing.  It is a vigorous vine, producing a large amount of fruit clusters but the thick skins and large amount of pips (seeds) limit the amount of juice that can be obtained from each fruit.
Albarino is higher in acid than many whites and is often compared to Riesling or described as a cross between Riesling and Viognier containing the crispness of Riesling but the floral characteristics of Viognier.  A long held belief by non-Galicians was that Albarino was a descendent of Riesling but recent DNA testing in Spain has shown no evidence that the two are related.

Alabarino is usually fermented in stainless steel tanks and is made to drink relatively young in the US but in Spain, the higher acid contents and moderate tannin structure (for a white wine) allow the wine to age gracefully for 5 to 8 years.

* used in California

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Name Vintage Year Price Tasting Comments
Cru Winery
2012  $23.00  Mariposa 
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