[July 14, 2022 - Murphys, CA] Calaveras Winegrape Alliance Education & Events Manager, Mark Silverstone, brings you this bi-weekly spotlight series to educate and inspire! Of the 52 varieties of grapes grown in Calaveras county (going from A to Z), first up is Albariño. This green skinned grape is native to Galicia Spain (Rias Baixas) on the Iberian Penninsula. It also holds “dual citizenship” in north west Portugal's Vinho Verde region where it is called Alvarinho.
This food friendly white wine is known to be aromatic with distinctive floral and fruity characteristics. Typified as weighty but bright, refreshing and lively, rich with stone fruit flavors, a hint of salinity and zippy acidity.
Some of the oldest living vines in the world are Albariño (300+ years). The grapes are tiny with thick skins which creates a distinct raw almond or citrus-pith like bitterness. Most are drunk young and fresh, but due to the phenolic structure from the grapes thick skins, Albariños have good potential for aging. Spanish and Portuguese winemakers have always treasured the freshness of Albariño and do not age the wine in oak. Local winemakers employ these same techniques.
On the nose you will find nectarine, lime, melon, apple, pear and grapefruit. With a weighty mid-palate, mouth watering acidity (dry/sweet off dry) and slight minerality, this playful white wine is “a friend to all things from the sea”. Pair with white fish and meats and leafy green herbs.
Albariño can be found in Calaveras County at Aloria Vineyards, Bodega Del Sur and Twisted Oak. Be sure to stop by the tasting rooms of these local producers of refreshing Albariño, especially satisfying during these hot and sweltering summer days here in California. Find our Tasting Room Directory HERE and enjoy this delicious summer sipper!