Albarino Alvainho... What's in a name? Saturday tasting

Posted by Joelle Thomson on

Spain continues to reign supreme when it comes to popular grapes and wines from the Iberian Peninsula, but the grape we now know as Albarino originally comes from Portugal. The north west, to be precise.

It is called Alvarinho in Portugal and Albarino in Spain, and it's now  finding a firm footing in New Zealand too.

The first Kiwi winemaker to spark interest in this bright, fresh white grape was John Forrest of Forrest Estate in Marlborough. 

He always reckoned that Albarino's naturally high acidity and propensity for growing well in relatively damp climates would mean that it suited the hot days, cool nights and maritime climate of New Zealand. 

Albarino's success in New Zealand

It turns out that John Forrest was right on all counts - and more. Albarino is the most successful of all the lesser known European grapes that are currently being trialled in New Zealand.

This coming Saturday we will crack open a bottle of the latest Forrest Estate Albarino, which is one of our top picks of this promising newcomer to the New Zealand national vineyard area.

Its aforementioned natural high acidity makes it an ideal contender for the relatively cool maritime climate of this country - a climate that is surprisingly similar to north west Portugal and north west Spain; the two traditional homes to Albarino and Alvarinho.

In their latest mammoth tome about wine, Masters of Wine Jancis Robinson and Julia Harding call the grape Alvarinho and its original homeland as north eastern Portugal.

Read their whole description of Alvarinho and it turns out that this grape basically comes from the border of Portugal and Spain.

The Albarino grape makes up 90% of the vineyard in Rias Baixas in north west Spain. And it's a key ingredient in Vinho Verde from Portugal.


Regional's Albarino tasting... join us for a glass...

Pop in this Saturday 3 August from 1pm to 5pm

Here's the line up

2016 Barbuntin Albarino, special $21.99 (RRP $23.99)

2017 Forrest Albarino, special $22.99 (RRP $24.99)

2018 Nautilus Albarino, special $26.99 (RRP $28.99)

2017 Senorio Rubios Albarino, special $26.99 (RRP $24.99)

2017 Terras Guida Albarino, special $31.99 (RRP $35.99)

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