Albillo grapes

by | Sep 23, 2016

In the fifteenth century, Gabriel Alonso de Herraro in his Agricultura General first mentioned about Albillo. He said that the wine was very clear and gentle in taste and colour.

He also stated that the quality of wine improves when blended with other wine varieties like Moscatel. Alain Lemps states that Albillo was found in the Rioja Alta, and made a traditional wine in Vizcaya named taxoli.

In total, there are 5 grape varieties that have Albillo in their names- Albillo Mayor, Albillo de Albacete, Albillo Real, Albillo Krimskii, and Albillo Real de Granada. Only Albillo Real is referred to as simply Albillo.

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Some Ampelographers believed that a Sardinian wine was a clone of Albillo or vice versa. However, the DNA profiling conducted on the grapes six years back established that the two grape varieties were surely different.

In the same year, using the same DNA analysis, it was discovered that a parent-offspring relationship links Albillo with Prie Blanco which is an Italian wine grape variety, growing in the Avila province. It’s not clear that which grape was the parent and which grape likewise the offspring.

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Origin

This is a variety of Spanish white grapes and was planted in the Ribera Del Duero region also in Madrid, Alvila, Galicia. Albillo variety represented thirty-six percent of all the vines planted in Toro area in the 1751, and was also found in the Tierras de Medina region.

Albillo White has been known for many centuries and was blended in old wineries with other grapevine varieties. Based on the high degree of homonymity, it is not possible to cite historic references from anywhere.

It is more than probable that the variety’s origin lies in the Northern Douro on the plains of Castile, mainly Burgos and Valladolid.

The vineyards of north-central Spain are located at the height of six hundred meters above sea level. The days are hot and the nights are cool.

This allows Albillo grapes to grow ripe without losing the acidity essential to the quality and aging potential of the final wines.

Albillo is also grown in Portugal but in very small amounts, it does not seem to have reached anywhere else in the southern hemisphere.

Characteristics

The berries are average sized, with round shape and green in colour. Bunches are small and compact. They have an early ripening and the harvest time falls in the middle of August in Spain. It produces wines with tropical notes.

Albillo is capable of producing good quality white wines that are rich and complex in aromas. Old wines produce fruit concentrated wines.

When aged nicely in oak, they intake a toasty flavour. We get a flavour of tart, mint fresh lemons and green apples. It is fairly good in acidity and its sour flavour is a bit difficult to be consumed singly.

Albillo contributed to the texture of red wines of the Maseta.  The chief areas of cultivation are Castile and Leon. Turruntés is the national synonym.

Whereas, the historical and regional synonyms are Abillo, Túrruntez and Blanca del País. Blanca means white in Spanish.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, around 2,336 ha area is under its cultivation in Spain.

It is at times added in little quantities to Garnacha to add aromatic notes and reduce its tannins. The renowned estate of Vega Sicilia grows a small quantity of Albillo for the same purpose.

The number of plantings has reduced over the past years as winemakers and farmers have turned to international varietals.

Some growers have fruitfully experimented with mono-varietal expressions, producing mineral, fresh wines.

Food Pairings

White wine tends to be drier than the red wines, although there are some sweet varieties too. The light bodied white wines are perfect for serving with summertime dinners.

Spanish dishes like Scallops, paella, jumbo salad are made to pair with Albillo white wines.

Dishes like sandwiches, dishes with plenty of cheese and fruits are also an alternative for vegetarians.

Author

Michael Bredahl

Michael Bredahl

Wine Writer

Michael is an online enthusiast, with a lot of knowledge about online marketing. Traveling around the world to hunt for the perfect wine. Latest on Sicily, where Etna has a huge impact on the taste, which is strong with a bitter aftertaste for the youngest wines, but older wines are fantastic. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one the passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂

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