Albarino: Where It Grows, Winemaking, Best Wines (2024)

by Hunter Robillard

The aromatic Albarino grape variety is native to Northwest Spain and Portugal. Albarino (Alvarinho) wines stand out with a perfect balance between elegant complexity, dryness, and light, crisp fruit flavors. 

What makes this dry white wine so popular? How are Albarino wines made?

Let’s explore the Albarino wine regions, winemaking, and the best Albarino wines to buy in 2024. We’ll also find out the easiest way you can buy any Spanish wine.

Further reading

All About Albarino


Albarino (derived from the Latin word “albus” for white) is a white wine grape variety primarily planted in northwest Spain and Portugal (where it is known as Alvarinho.) 

The Albarino grape variety is believed to have originated in the 12th century in the Iberian peninsula, but recent studies point out its birthplace might also be the Galician region in Spain.

This white grape is mainly used in the making of single varietal wines. Albarino can produce crisp, citrusy wines as well as softer wines with tropical fruit hints. In Portugal, the Albarino grape is also used in white wine blends with other grapes like Avesso, Loureiro, and Arinto. 

Next, let’s see the main regions where Albarino grows.

The Albarino Wine Regions


Around 93% of the world’s Albarino vines are planted in Spain and Portugal. 

  • Spain: 90% of the Rias Baixas wine region is planted with Albarino.
  • Portugal: In Portugal, Albarino is mainly found in the Monção and Melgaço sub-regions of Vinho Verde. The grape is often used in the Vinho Verde wine blends.

The remaining 7% is grown in the following countries: 

  • United States: Most Albarino vineyard plots are on the central coast of California. There are some Albarino plantings in the cool climate regions of Edna Valley, Carneros, Oregon, and Washington.
  • Uruguay: Albarino has been growing in popularity in Uruguay, which has a similar climate to Galicia in Spain.
  • Other regions: New Zealand, Brazil, Chile, and Argentina also have some Albarino vineyard plots.

Fun fact: The Albarino grape variety has attracted a lot of attention in Australia in the past decade. However, recent DNA tests have shown that the Australian Albarino grape is actually the French Savagnin, and Australian winemakers have been labeling their wines wrong!

Albarino Viticulture and Winemaking

The Albarino grape variety thrives in a cool climate similar to the climate in Rias Baixas and Vinho Verde. 

However, these regions also experience rainy weather and storms. The higher humidity levels tend to cause the tiny green-skinned grapes of Albarino to develop rot and mildew.

To prevent this from happening, some vine growers plant the vines vertically on wires or pergolas, which allows for better ventilation. Other vine growers plant them on well-draining soils like sand mixed with granite. 

The Albarino vines also have great longevity - some of them reach up to 300 years of age.

Albarino Winemaking


The Albarino winemaking process includes:

  • Maceration: The grapes are gently pressed and macerated for several days at cool temperatures. This increases the wine’s aromas and complexity.
  • Alcohol fermentation: Often, Albarino grapes go through alcoholic fermentation with native yeast, enhancing the natural flavors and the expression of terroir in the wine.
  • Malolactic fermentation: Albarino wines that do not go through malolactic fermentation are crisp and fresh. The winemakers who choose to conduct malolactic fermentation produce softer wines with a rounder profile.
  • Contact with lees: After fermentation, the Spanish Albarino winemakers leave the wine in contact with the lees. This enhances the wine’s aromas and flavor profile.
  • Aging: Winemakers who want to preserve the wine’s freshness do not age it in oak. However, some winemakers opt for oak barrel aging, which enhances the wine’s complexity and structure.

Now, what do Albarino wines taste like, and what foods can you pair them with?

Albarino Wine Taste and Food Pairings


Albarino wines usually have an exceptional freshness and a subtle saltiness. They offer a rich flavor profile that ranges from tart citrus to balanced, with tropical fruit aromas and juicy nectarine tasting notes. The alcohol levels range between 8.5%-11.5% ABV.So, if you’re a white wine lover, there is definitely an Albarino bottle to suit your preferences.

Albarino wines are a great companion to seafood dishes like oysters, clams, and mussels. 

If you’re a fan of more traditional foods, pair a glass of Albarino with white meat, risotto, and roasted vegetables. You can also serve Albarino with soft cheese platters.

So, which Albarino wines are worth trying in 2024?

The Best Albarino Wines to Buy in 2024 (Including Prices, Tasting Notes)

We hand-picked the most impressive Albarino bottles for you:

1. Pazo de Senorans Seleccion de Anada Albarino 2001


This beautiful white wine offers high acidity and pleasant hints of minerality. On the palate, tasting notes of green apple, citrus, and apricot unravel under the opulent aroma of white flowers.

Price of Pazo de Senorans Seleccion de Anada Albarino 2001: $154

2. Eulogio Pomares 'Maceracion con Pieles' 2017


This is among the most elegant Rias Baixas wines. It has distinct salinity notes and bright acidity. The initial grapefruit aromas transition into tropical fruit and orange blossom tasting notes. This wine pairs great with various seafood hors d'oeuvres.

Price of Eulogio Pomares 'Maceracion con Pieles' 2017: $71

3. Raul Perez 'Sketch' Blanco 2015


Here we have a wine made with Albarino grapes from the coastal Rias Baixas vineyard plots. The wine has enchanting salinity, pleasant acidity, and a gentle aroma of white flowers. The palate has starfruit, lemon, and nectarine flavor.

Price of Raul Perez 'Sketch' Blanco 2015: $90

4. Bodegas Terras Gauda O Rosal Etiqueta Negra 2015


This Albarino wine from winemaker Terras Gauda has a dry, full-bodied profile with a gentle lemon curd aroma. On the palate, layers of tropical fruit flavors and green apple tasting notes transition into an opulent honeysuckle aroma and citrus finish.

Price of Bodegas Terras Gauda O Rosal Etiqueta Negra 2015: $104

5. Bodegas Forjas del Salnes Leirana Ma. Luisa Lazaro 2005


This is an elegant white wine from the Bodegas Forjas del Salnes Leirana winemaker. The texture is light and unravels a full spectrum of fruit flavors - from lemon and grapefruit to starfruit, nectarine, and green apple.

Price of Bodegas Forjas del Salnes Leirana Ma. Luisa Lazaro 2005: $77

6. Anselmo Mendes 'Parcela Unica' Alvarinho 2019


This exquisite Portuguese white wine has a dry profile and an intense aroma of tropical fruit and peach. On the palate, the citrus tasting notes are followed by a mild vanilla and oak aftertaste.

Price of Anselmo Mendes 'Parcela Unica' Alvarinho 2019: $75

7. La Comtesse de Pazo Barrantes Albarino Cepas Viejas 2012


Here is a beautifully aged Rias Baixas Albarino with an opulent nose of white flowers and lemon curd. The palate has dominant stone fruit tasting notes with elegant fruit hints of grapefruit, peach, and green apple. 

Price of La Comtesse de Pazo Barrantes Albarino Cepas Viejas 2012: $79

8. Martin Codax Gallaecia Albarino 2016 

Martin-Codax-Gallaecia-Albarino-2016 .jpg

This off-dry white wine has mesmerizing aromas of orange blossom, apricot, and cream. The high acidity balances out the intense stone fruit tasting notes and long minerality at the end.

Price of Martin Codax Gallaecia Albarino 2016: $71

9. Bodegas Forjas del Salnes Leirana Genoveva Albarino 2015


This Albarino from the Val do Salnes sub-region of Rias Baixas has a pale lemon color and complex citrus fruit tasting notes on the palate. The light and crisp texture is enhanced by the wine’s opulent nose of stone fruit, honeysuckle, and white flowers.

Price of Bodegas Forjas del Salnes Leirana Genoveva Albarino 2015: $70

10. Sal da Terra Albarino 2018


This golden-colored Spanish wine from the Sal da Terra winery has a wonderful creamy texture and buttery flavor. The palate has layers of grapefruit, tropical fruit, and nectarine tasting notes accompanied by a salty mineral finish.

Price of Sal da Terra Albarino 2018: $40

Does Albarino Wine Age Well?


Albarino can be enjoyed as both young and old wine. Within the first 2-3 years after the vintage, the wine has more expressive acidity and intense fruit flavors. 

Albarino wines can be aged for 5-7 years. These older vintages have a darker golden color and creamy texture with milder aromas.


Albarino wines may be an excellent addition to any wine collection. However, if you’re looking for other more investment-worthy wines, there are many other sought-after styles that you cannot miss.

And, how do you buy the finest wines in the world? You can use the help of Vinovest.

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Albarino: A Beautiful, Rich White Wine from Spain

A bottle of Albarino is a must-have in any wine collection. The wine’s opulent aromas and mesmerizing fruit flavors make it a great drink to serve at any special occasion.

But, it may not be ideal for long term investment. 

To build a profitable wine portfolio, explore the investment-grade wines available on Vinovest. Simply sign up here - your favorite wine bottles are just a few clicks away! 

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