Wine & Travel

Snooth User: Bitner Vineyards

Spanish varietal

Posted by Bitner Vineyards, May 18, 2011.

I am leaving for Northern Spain soon and would like suggestions of what varietals I should take a look at.


Reply by dmcker, May 18, 2011.

Think more in terms of locales. Whether red or white they will determine the varietals, or rather often the blends you encounter.

What parts of northern Spain?


Reply by GregT, May 18, 2011.

Exactly.  If you start out in the west, in Galicia, you find whites.  Rias Baxias is the far west and that's the home of Albariño. Some people find it similar to Riesling - it's not.  Was all trendy a few years ago, now it's just wine drinkers who like it as the trendies have moved on.  Move inland a bit to Valdeorras and you encounter Godello, which can be a really wonderful grape.  And it may be the next Spanish white for the trendies.

RIbiero produces mostly Treixadura, as well as Albariño, Godello and Torrontes, which is very floral and believed related to Malvasia. Ribiera Sacra also produces those, but is becoming better known for the red Mencia. That's of course more famous slightly farther inland in Bierzo, which isn't in Galicia but is in Léon.  Mencia can be a wonderful and interesting grape but most of what's produced is horrible.  I once had great hopes for its aging potential, I guess I still do but I've been disappointed with  a few after they have a few years, even when they were fantastic in their youth.  Drink those young until we have more history.

Move further east and you enter the Basque regions.  Part of RIoja is in the Basque country but more along the Atlantic coast, you still have whites.  Txakoli is the uber-trendy grape.  Can make a nice crisp white and you should try some of those too.

So you have a few things to try from N. Spain.


Reply by dmcker, May 18, 2011.

And we're not even talking about Catalonia yet....

Reply by Richard Foxall, May 19, 2011.

I missed the trendiness of Rias Baixas, but I do like the whites.  And now that they aren't trendy, you can find excess on the market at great prices, which is how I choose my wines.  Little did I realize.

GregT seems slightly underwhelmed by Priorat wines, but I like them and find that you can get deals on them, with a little searching.  Although they aren't  his favorites, I'm sure GregT can produce an homage to Catalonia... And of course there are good wines in Catalonia outside the boundaries of Priorat.

Reply by dmcker, May 19, 2011.

There's always Penedes....

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