Grape variety is very important to understand a wine. In some places, grape varieties are considered one of the most important factors in choosing a wine. In most European countries, it’s more common to order or buy a wine by its origin or aging, instead of looking for the variety, but this is changing and the grape variety it becoming more and more important.
In the following list, we include the top ten Eurpoean grape varieties, we hope you has already taste them, if not, go for them:
1-ALBARELLO / BRANCELLADO / BRACELHO (Spain and Portugal)
It is sensitive to mites and oidium and has small, spherical and garnet colored berries. The wines are not very colored, their acidity is correct, the tannin can be somewhat green if there is an excessive extraction, the alcohol content is high, so it is usually mixed with other varieties.
Aglianico is able to give very dark, full-bodied and high-quality red wines. However, its production is relatively low and generally mixed with other varieties of southern Italy.
It develops well in light and well aerated soils in low areas between hills. The grapes are medium in size and have an intense blue color, thick skin and consistent pulp.
This grape is generally used to make dry wines, which highlight an aromatic profile of red fruits, cherries and blackberries, with hints of pepper and tobacco.
5- ALICANTE BOUSCHET or GARNACHA TINTORERA (France)
It emerged in France as a result of a cross in the early nineteenth century and rapidly expanded to numerous regions due to its ability to add color, which led it to be considered a variety that improves ordinary and bulk wines. It is very abundant in Spain in the areas of Ribeiro and Almansa, as well as in the Alentejo (Portugal).
After the phylloxera underwent a strong growth to be very productive, today it is in clear decline because it is not used for quality wines.
7-BAGA / RUFETE (Portugal and Spain)
It is a very tannic and high acid variety, with great aging potential, ideal for high quality wines whose main growing areas extend from the Arribes del Duero (western Spain) to the black clay region of Bairrada ( south of the Portuguese city of Coimbra).
The most curious thing about this variety is that it almost lacks tannin, which together with its high acidity, powerful flavor and fruity aroma, give young wines of this variety the condition of very refreshing wines.
9-BELLA DA CAXATA / GRAN NEGRO (Spain)
It is a Galician variety of small cluster, with a good presence of polyphenols and acidity, which allows the production of aging wines provided that the climatic year has been conducive to avoid diseases and obtain optimum ripening of the berry.
It is the most widespread and typical variety of our country. It’s called that, because grapes are harvested before other varieties (before). It is a grape with very fruity and aromatic notes, which ages quite well in the barrel. In Ribera del Duero y Toro it is called “Tinta del País” and “Tinta de Toro” respectively.
The Tempranillo grape gives it the touch, color and flavor typical of Rioja wine and in Zintzo we have the best, come and try it.