Albarino is a green-skinned, white grape variety native to Galicia on the north Atlantic coast of Spain. It is also popular in the Vinho Verde wine region of northern Portugal, where it is known as Alvarinho.
An aromatic variety that is high in acidity, Albarino can be produced as a light white wine, sometimes slightly sparkling, or in a fuller style, with oak or lees ageing adding to the texture and richness. Either style is recommended with food, particularly the seafood of the region. The wines are best consumed one to three years from harvest, when the fresh aromas of white peach, apricot, citrus and jasmine still prevail with a dry, lively, fruit and mineral finish.
Advertising In Spain, Albarino constitutes more than 90% of the grapes planted in the Rias Baixas area, where the complex mesoclimates within this DO signify the many different sub-regions and variations between vintages and vineyards.
In Portugal, Alvarinho Vinho Verde wines are sometimes bottled with a certain amount of carbon dioxide, resulting in wines that have a light, sparkling sensation in the mouth. These wines are usually intended for early consumption and pair elegantly with the local cuisine. They were the first Portuguese wines to be widely labeled and recognized by their varietal name, and the growth in their popularity has supported a boom in availability and price.