Albarino - the next big thing

Posted by Joelle Thomson on

We’re all looking for the next big thing and if the results of this country's annual wine competition in our biggest wine region are anything to go by, Albarino could well be it for New Zealand winemakers.

The white Albarino grape originally comes from Spain’s maritime north west and the north of Portugal, where it's known locally as Alvarinho.

It’s shaping up to be an ideal fit for this country’s maritime climate, as gold medal winning wines showed at the Marlborough Wine Show this year. Fresh back from judging at the show earlier this month, I was impressed - as were other judges - by the quality of the three gold medal winning Albarinos from Forrest Estate, Nautilus and Wairau River.

These three wines towered over the other alternative variety white wines that we tasted at the show. Fresh, flavoursome and consistent in character and personality, they shine the spotlight on a grape variety that is relatively new but makes a lot of sense for our cool maritime climate.

There are still only a handful of Albariños made in Marlborough, so it’s to the credit of the winemakers at these three wineries that their wines all received gold medals this year.

John Forrest’s daughter and winemaker, Beth Forrest, worked in Spain where she got to know the grape well. This prompted its arrival into this country. A story not well known but worthy of more exposure, both in print and in our glasses.

Here at Regional Wines, we stock two of these award winners, so come on down to try and buy these great whites.

Gold medal winning Albarinos 

* Click on the first two to buy them from Regional

2019 Nautilus Albariño

2018 Forrest Estate Albarino

2019 Wairau River Albariño

Find out more about the Marlborough Wine Show here. 


Albarino is...

A thick skinned white grape from Galicia in north west Spain, a region with high rainfall, which resembles some aspects of New Zealand's grape growing climate.

Albarino is a grape that's high in glycerol, which produces wines high in alcohol and acidity.

The best Albariño come from the Rias Baixas DOC of Galicia. It is also made in California wine regions including the Santa Ynez Valley AVA (American Viticultural Association) and the Los Carneros AVA.

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