Albarino wine variety

Albarino is an aromatic white wine variety from Spain. Many Australian winemakers are enthusiastic about its potential in Australia, but unfortunately efforts to introduce the variety into this country have struck a reef.

In early 2009 a controversy emerged about the identity of the variety of vines in some Albarino vineyards in Australia. It is now confirmed that these vines are in fact a different variety - Savagnin. The problem originated in 1989 when Spanish authorities made a mix up when supplying propagating material to the CSIRO. All so called Albarino vines from these sources are now known to be Savagnin.

This is a late ripening white wine variety whose home is the Rias Baixas and Galician wine regions of North West Spain and Portugal. These areas, under the influence of the nearby Atlantic Ocean, are cooler and wetter than the rest of Spain.

Albarino Wine Country in Spain and Portugal

Albarino wine country

Detail from an excellent wine map from De Long's Wine Info, maker of the famous wine grape varietal table.

In Portugal the variety is known as 'Alvarinho'

In the north west of the Iberian Peninsula this variety produces light bodied wines with high acidity. The Portuguese Vinho Verde's made from this variety are often very light in body and alcohol, say 8.5%, reflecting the common practice of overcropping on pergola trellises in a warm, humid climate.

Albarino wines are very aromatic, redolent of peaches and apricots and can display a complex array of flavours, similar to Viognier but with much less weight.

It is no surprise to those who have tried these wines that this is now the most fashionable Spanish varietal white wine.

Albarino in Australia

Some winemakers believe that true Albarino is a worthwhile variety and the process of importing the wine through quarantine has begun.

Many of those who planted Savagnin, and those who have tasted the wines believe that Savagnin is a very suitable variety for making aromatic white wine in Australia.See this page for Savagnin in Australia

What should you eat with Albarino wine?

Daring food pairings

Spanish style seafood dishes or tapas are the the obvious choices for food pairing with Albarino varietal wines.

However it is a very versatile variety and can be used in a similar way to Riesling with all manner of seafood dishes, especially those with garlic. Paella, pastas and risottos will be enjoyed with these wines as well.

This Book by Evan Goldstein contains many suggestions for pairing unusual varietal wines with food. One suggestion for food pairing with albarino is Steamed Manilla Crabs and Udon

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.
The Magazine
of this Website

Vinodiversity magazine
Now available!

Vinodiversity Magazine For iPhone and iPad

Varieties described on this site

Aglianico | Albarino | Aleatico | Alicante Bouchet | Aligote | Aranel | Arneis | Aucerot | Baco noir | Barbera | Bastardo | Biancone | Bianco d'Alessano | Blaufrankisch | Brachetto | Cabernet Franc | Carignan | Carina | Carmenere | Carnelian | Chambourcin | Chasselas | Chenin blanc | Cienna | Cinsaut | Clairette | Colombard | Cortese | Corvina | Counoise | Crouchen | Cygne blanc | Dolcetto | Doradillo | Durif | Fiano | Flora | Fragola | Furmint | Gamay | Garganega | Gewurztraminer | Gouais blanc | Graciano | Grecanico | Greco di Tufo | Grenache | Grenache gris | Grillo | Gruner Veltliner | Harslevelu | Jacquez | Kerner | Lagrein | Lemberger | Lexia |
Malbec | Malian | Malvasia | Marsanne | Marzemino | Mataro | Mavrodaphne | Melon de Bourgogne | (Pinot) Meunier | Mondeuse | Montepulciano | Moscata paradiso | Moscato | | Mourvedre | Muller Thurgau | Muscadelle | Muscat |
Nebbiolo | Negroamaro | Nero d'Avola | Norton | Ondenc | Orange muscat | Palomino | Pedro Ximenez | Petit manseng | Petit Meslier | Petit verdot | Picolit | Picpoul | Pinot blanc | Pinot grigio/gris | Pinotage | Primitivo | Prosecco | Refosco | Riesling | Rondinella | Roussanne | Rubienne | Ruby Cabernet | Sagrantino | Saint Laurent | Sangiovese | Saperavi | Savagnin | Schonburger | Shalistin | Siegerrebe | Souzao | Sylvaner | Taminga | Tannat | Tarrango | Tempranillo | Teroldego | Tinta Negra Molle | Torrontes | Touriga | Trincadeira | Tinto Cao | Trebbiano | Tribidrag | Trollinger | Tyrian | Verdelho | Verduzzo | Vermentino | Villard blanc | Viognier | Zante | Zibibbo | Zinfandel |