Albariño is one of the most distinctive white wine grapes in Spain. Its heartlands are in Galacia, in Spain's rain- sodden north-west, and in Portugal`s Vinho Verde region, where it is known as Alvarinho and Cainho Branco. In the past, it was commonly mixed with other local grapes such as Loureiro, Godello, Caiño, Arinto or Treixadura to produce blended wines, but since the mid 1980s the grape's full potential has been realised and appreciated for single varietal bottlings. Its thick skin enables it to withstand the damp climate of Galicia and the subsequent fruit is small, sweet and high in glycerol, producing wines high in alcohol and acidity.
High quality Albariño dominated wines are intensely aromatic and redolent of peaches, apricots and almonds on the palate. They have the ability to age gracefully and many growers are now experimenting with oak maturation. The finest Albariño wines come from the Rias Baixas DOC of Galicia. Albariño is also produced in California wine regions including the Santa Ynez Valley & Los Carneros AVAs.