Spanish white wines are like a refreshing breeze from the vineyards of the sun-kissed Iberian Peninsula.
Imagine sipping a glass of Albariño, Verdejo, or Godello – these are just a few gems in Spain’s diverse white wine collection. Each sip transports you to the picturesque landscapes where vineyards flourish under the Spanish sun.
Whether you’re into crisp and zesty or prefer something more floral and aromatic, Spanish white wines offer a delightful journey for your taste buds. There are seven main Spanish white wine varietals for us to explore.
Let’s uncork the bottle and dive into the vibrant world of Spanish whites, where every glass tells a story of tradition, terroir, and the passionate hands that craft these liquid masterpieces.
Albariño, a star in the world of Spanish white wines, hails primarily from the lush and coastal region of Galicia, northwest Spain.
Known for its crisp acidity and vibrant citrus notes, Albariño dances on the palate with flavors of green apple, peach, and a hint of sea breeze. This aromatic spanish wine thrives in the maritime climate, producing wines that are both refreshing and expressive.
Whether enjoyed on a warm day or paired with seafood delights, Albariño embodies the essence of Spain’s coastal charm in every sip.
Tasting Notes: Green apple, peach, salinity
Regions: Rías Baixas, Ribeiro, and Ribeira Sacra
Average Cost: $15-25
Similar to: Vermentino, Assyrtiko, Sauvignon Blanc, Grüner Veltliner, Chenin Blanc
Verdejo: Iconic Spanish White Wine
Verdejo, a standout among Spanish white wines, is renowned for its character as a dry white wine.
Originating from the Rueda wine region, this grape variety presents a crisp and refreshing profile, making it a perfect companion for warm days.
Verdejo wines captivate with vibrant aromas and flavors, showcasing notes of zesty citrus, tropical fruits, and a delightful herbal touch. The combination of its dry nature and a symphony of enticing aromas and flavors makes Verdejo a splendid choice for those seeking a bright and flavorful dry white wine experience.
Related: Read more about Verdejo wine here
Garnacha Blanca, a white grape variety, brings a touch of Mediterranean warmth to Spanish white wines. Known for its adaptability to various climates, this grape thrives in regions like Rioja and Priorat.
Garnacha Blanca wines often boast a rich and full-bodied character, with flavors ranging from stone fruits like white peach and apricot to floral and herbal notes. When sipping on a glass of Garnacha Blanca, expect a delightful fusion of Mediterranean charm and the grape’s unique expression.
As a reminder, Spanish wines tend to be labelled by region, versus varietal. Look for Rioja Blanco to find this one!
Tasting Notes: Juicy peach, tropical fruits, herbal notes
Regions: Rioja, Priorat
Average Cost: $15-25
Godello is a white grape variety predominantly grown in northwestern Spain, particularly in the regions of Valdeorras and Bierzo.
Godello wines are full-bodied and expressive nature, often displaying flavors of ripe stone fruits, citrus, and floral notes. The grape’s adaptability to different winemaking techniques allows for a range of styles, from fresh and vibrant to those with subtle oak influence.
Tasting Notes: Ripe stone fruit, citrus, floral notes
Regions: Valdeorras, Bierzo
Average Cost: $15-30
Viura is a white grape variety that holds a significant place in the Spanish winemaking landscape.
Widely cultivated in Rioja and the Penedès region, Viura contributes to the production of both still and sparkling white wines. Known for its versatility, Viura wines can range from crisp and fruity to more complex styles with oak aging.
Viura wines often showcase bright acidity and a refreshing profile, making them excellent choices for pairing with a variety of dishes. The grape’s ability to adapt to different winemaking techniques allows for the creation of a diverse range of expressions, from unoaked and youthful to those with a richer, textured character influenced by oak aging.
Viura, also known as Macabeo in some regions, plays a key role in shaping the delightful diversity of Spanish white wines.
Tasting Notes: Citrus flavors, green apple, white flowers, minerality
Regions: Rioja, Penedès, Navarra
Average Cost: $10-20
Xarel-lo is a white grape variety prominently grown in Catalonia, Spain, where it plays a significant role in the production of Cava, the country’s sparkling wine.
Known for its high acidity, Xarel-lo contributes freshness and structure to Cava blends. This versatile grape exhibits flavors ranging from citrus and green apple to subtle floral and herbal notes, making it a key component in creating the lively and complex character of traditional Spanish sparkling wines.
Tasting Notes: Citrus flavors, green apple, white flowers, herbal notes
Regions: Catalonia, Penedès
Average Cost: $15-25
Airen is a white grape variety widely cultivated in Spain, particularly in the La Mancha region. Recognized for its adaptability and high yields, Airen is one of the most planted grape varieties in the world.
Wines made from Airen are often characterized by a light and neutral profile, with subtle citrus notes. Due to its versatility, Airen is used in the production of a variety of still and sparkling wines, providing a refreshing and easy-drinking option for wine enthusiasts.
Tasting Notes: Crisp, clean, citrus
Regions: La Mancha
Average Cost: $8-15
How is Spanish White Wine Labeled?
Spanish white wine labels provide valuable information about the wine’s origin, grape variety, and aging process.
Look for the Denominación de Origen (DO) or Denominación de Origen Calificada (DOC) designation, indicating the wine’s specific region and quality standards.
The grape variety, such as Albariño or Verdejo, is often prominently displayed. Terms like “Joven” signify a young, unoaked wine, while “Crianza” and “Reserva” indicate different levels of aging in oak barrels.
Pay attention to these details on the label to uncover the unique characteristics and quality of the Spanish white wine you’re exploring.