Characteristics of the grape Viura: One the best white Spanish varieties.

Viura, Macabeo, Alcañol, Blanca de Daroca, Forcalla, Gredelín, Perpignan…different names for the same varietal. A varietal that has become one of the most respected, having one of the best potentials in Spain, and the undisputed star performer for Catalan and La Rioja vineyards.

In today’s post, we would like to examine in depth all the goodness and characteristics of Viurra (the name given to the grape in La Rioja), or Macabeo (in Catalanya). Will you join in with us?

viuraBunches of the grape Macabeo in the Penedés. Image by Shoes on Wires (CC BY 2.0)


The origins of this varietal, although are not very clear, seem to be found in the river Ebro, in Cuenca. This city, famous for being a world heritage site in central Spain.

Viurra or Macabeo, offer wines with a notable acidity level. These wines are extraordinarily fresh when young, and very apt for being either aged in the bottel as well as the barrel.

It is precisely this fantastic capacity for being aged that has converted Viurra into essential status in La Rioja, where it is now, the home of the largest ageing of wine in barrels, similar to Catalunya, Macabeo brings structure to the cava, which is acheived through the ageing process over many years, without losing any of its freshness.

Would you like to discover some good monovarietals from the grape Viurra? Here are some suggestions.

Finca la Emperatriz Viura 2014.  A young wine, originating from the parcels 2, 3 and 6 of the Finca la Emperatriz in Rioja. On the palate, potent, fresh, overwhelming. A very good option at a price available for everbody.

Viñas de Gaín Blanco 2009. All the aromatic subtleness of the Viurra concentrated in a great white wine to be stored. Viñas de Gaín Blanco is 100% Viurra that is fermented for 5 weeks in oak barrel, passing to 24 months of ageing in a steel container. A complex, pleasant and persistent wine.

Finca Racons 2013. Now we head off to Catalunya, to be exact, the appellation of origin Costers del Segre, to highlight this fantastic 100% Macabeo produced under the direction of a great wine maker, Tomás Cuisiné. This wine has a very limted production that you should not miss out on.

These are only a few suggestions, however, there still are so many other options! What is your favourite Viurra/ Macabeao wine?

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