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A common white-wine grape throughout Spain and Portugal, the mineral-rich Albariño is light in body, very youthful and fresh, with a floral bouquet plus lemon and lime notes. It’s predominantly grown in Portugal’s Vinho Verde, Moncao, and Melgaco regions. In Spain, it can be found in Rias Baixas, Combados, and Barbanza e Iria. There are very small pockets of production in California, including Clarksburg, Santa Ynez Valley and Los Carneros.

In terms of history, Albariño is a relatively new white wine to come out of these two countries. It wasn’t until the mid-1980s that imports began to the United States and other countries in large quantities. A fantastic pairing with seafood, Albariño is a great example of a wine that can hold its own but won’t overpower the food. It’s aged in stainless steel and typically released within a year of harvest.

Quick Facts

  • For nearly a decade, many Australian winemakers were incorrectly—due to misinformation about the grape—labeling Savignan as Albariño
  • Albariño grapes are terraced high off the ground in Rias Baixas to protect them from moisture rolling in off the coast with fog
  • About 90 percent of wine grapes planted in Rias Baixas are Albariño

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