The red grapes grown in Spain


As promised, it is a debt El Enófilo 2.0 returns to address the review of red grapes that we can find throughout the national territory.

If in Spain about thirty varieties of white grapes coexist, as we saw in last week's post, in terms of reds their number is similar. We are going to begin the tour of the main varieties of red grapes, from which wine is later made, warning the reader that I will surely forget any grape that is grown in small areas of Spain, since it is impossible to cover them all.

There are also grapes that are called differently depending on the geographical area in which they are grown. I also report that I will skip table grapes.

I have decided to order alphabetically the list of red grapes grown in Spanish fields for a better assimilation by the reader.

Red grape varieties on Spanish soil

  • Albarín Negro: One of the four original grapes from Asturias with which wines are made in the Principality and Cantabria. It is a variety with a sweet taste.
  • Alicante: It is the variety that we find most in the fields of Spain and one of the most planted in the world. In our country where it receives several names. Perfect for blends and for aging. The wines that are created with it are fruity and with little acidity. Originally from Aragon, it is widespread in Galicia and is the main variety of the D.O. Almansa.
  • Bobal: Grape of Valencian origin that we find in the D.O. from Utiel-Requena, Valencia and Manchuela. If the vine is old, it provides an aroma of wild fruits. Although reds are made, young rosés stand out. It complements very well with other varieties for its aging in wood.
  • Brancellao: Grape native to Galicia, it is usually used in the D.O. Ribeiro. Mostly it is used to mix with other grapes. They provide fatty nuances and a lot of aroma to the wines.

  • Cabernet Franc: Grape from the French region of Bordeaux. In our country it is used in the elaboration of many of the reds that are made in Catalonia. It gives the wine a purple color, many tannins, great acidity, and fruity aromas. Often used to make coupages.
  • Cabernet Sauvignon: This grape is the base with which Bordeaux wines are made, although in Spain it can be found in Catalonia, Navarra, the Ribera del Duero and La Mancha. It produces wines with an intense color, a large amount of tannins and a strong fruity aroma. Perfect for aging in wood, where they gain nuances of smoke, liquorice or truffle. Its aromas range from rose and violet to red fruits, green pepper, and unroasted coffee.
  • Caíño tinto: Grape of Galician origin is found in some wines from the D.O. Rias Baixas and Ribeiro. It is a low-yielding variety that is often used to create coupage.
  • Callet: It is the typical grape of the D.O. Binissalem-Mallorca. It generates balsamic and red fruit notes in the wines. Very suitable for aging in wood, where it gains toasted aromas.
  • Carrasquín: Grape of Asturian origin that gives the wines an alcoholic degree and roughness, although well worked it creates very original wines.
  • Garnacha: This red variety is the most widespread in Spain. It can be found, among other places, in La Rioja, Madrid, Navarra, Tarragona, Teruel, Toledo and Zaragoza. The wines made with it are powerful, with a high alcohol content. It is usually used to make young and rosé wines, as well as crianza wines, for which it is usually mixed with other varieties. It gives the wine aromas of spices, highlighting pepper, liquorice and anise, and red fruits. Depending on the geographical area, its aroma and flavor can vary greatly. There are several families of this grape in our country.
  • Graciano: Its implantation has spread throughout La Rioja and Navarra. It produces wines of intense color, with a great presence of tannins and acidity. Perfect for aging.
  • Hondarribi beltza: It is found in Guipúzcoa and Vizcaya. It is used for the elaboration of Txacolí red. It is a very light, fruity wine, balanced in acidity, and with a purplish cherry color.
  • Loureiro Tinta: Grape native to Galicia. It is of high quality, although it is so rare that it is often used in coupage with other grapes. It is usually used in many wines from the D.O. Rias Baixas.
  • Manto Negro: Grape native to the Balearic Islands. It is the majority variety of the D.O. Binissalem. The wines that it originates are lively, fruity, and velvety, and are not exempt from alcoholic content.
  • Maturana: Rioja grape that is currently recovering thanks to the good work being done by young winegrowers making very fruity and sweet wines.
  • Mazuelo: This grape is also known as Cariñena or Samsò. It is established in Aragon and Catalonia. It produces wines with an intense color, a high concentration of tannins, and a lot of acidity, making it suitable for aging. It combines very well with the Garnacha. The aroma that predominates in this grape is violet.
  • Mencía: Variety established in areas of Galicia and León. It produces wines of purple color, slightly fruity, balanced and with aromas of wild fruits, blackberries and jams. This grape is not suitable for long aging.
  • Merlot: It is the most widespread grape variety in the world together with Cabernet Sauvignon. In our country it is found, above all, in La Mancha, Huesca, Catalonia and Navarra. It produces wines with an intense ruby ​​color, that is, very red, little presence of tannins and acidity, and floral aromas. Perfect for aging, where it gains nuances of tobacco, truffle and musk.
  • Monastrell: This grape is spread throughout the Spanish Levante, especially through Alicante, Murcia and Valencia. Provides wines of intense color and high alcohol content. Although the young wines are harsh, after a while of aging they are a delight of aromas of ripe fruits, compote of figs and plums, as well as violets.

  • Pinot Noir: This is the grape variety used in Burgundy wines. In our country it is used in the Penedés. In this grape, the sweet and fruity aromas stand out.
  • Prieto Picudo: The Leonese grape par excellence. The wines of this variety are aromatic and full-bodied.
  • Sousón: Galician variety of grape widely used in the D.O. Ribeiro. Grape in clear retreat so it is usually used mixed with other varieties.It contributes a lot of acidity to the wines, a very intense cherry color, and aromas of forest fruits.
  • Sumoll: A native Spanish variety that we find in the Balearic Islands and Catalonia, especially in the D.O. Pla de Bages. Due to their late maturation, red and rosé wines of good acidity and medium coloring intensity are obtained, with aromas of blue flowers and vegetables, as a result of their high concentration of malic acid.
  • Syrah: Its name comes from the Persian city in which it originated, Shiraz. It is very widespread worldwide, and in Spain it can be found in the La Mancha and Levante areas. It produces wines with a high concentration of tannins and a lot of body. Provides aromas of red fruits and violets.
  • Tempranillo: In Spain it is known by different names depending on the region in which we are. Several of these names are: Cencibel, Ull de Llebre, Tinta del País, Tinta de Toro, Tinto Fino and Escobera. According to some experts, it is the highest quality variety, although that is highly debatable. It is found mainly, and in this order, in La Rioja, Burgos, Catalonia and La Mancha. It produces very balanced and aromatic wines, with little color, and notes of black plum, raspberry, and cherry. Very appropriate for breeding. After this, it develops nuances of toast and spices.
  • Trepat: This variety predominates in the Conca de Barberà, from where it is autochthonous and, we also find it in the D.O. Costers del Segre. Since it gives little color to red wines, its destination is the production of rosé wines and cavas. However, every day we find more red Trepat wines that are fruity on the palate and balanced acidity.
  • Verdejo Negro: Original grape from Asturias, very suitable for aging and for creating complex wines, since its acidity is very balanced and it has a good alcoholic strength. In it, mineral and balsamic nuances predominate.
  • Vijariego Negro: Speaking of our country, let's not forget the Canary Islands. Especially in Tenerife we ​​find this grape that is characterized by its fruity component and a sweet touch.

So far the review of the different varieties of grapes that we can find in the Spanish fields. I hope it has helped you to learn new things or to remember those already known.

It is nice to live in a country where there are so many types of grapes and so many different wines. Remember that Spain is the country where more varieties of wines are made, and in our opinion, where this elixir of the gods is best made. Let's toast to it.

Until next week. Merry Christmas.

Health and tasting.

Images | Jackie L Chan | (matt) | Allie_Caulfield Directly to the Paladar | The white grapes grown in Spain En Directo al Paladar | The incredible chemical process that transforms must into wine

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