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Wines with Brancellao grapes

by | Dec 7, 2016

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Brancellao’s red grape variety is used in Vinho Verde red wines native to the Spanish region of Galicia.

Wine with Brancellao grapes

It is called as Brancelho and Alvarelhao or Alvarello in the Portugal region, Varancelha, Pilongo, Locaia, and a lot more. It is indigenous to the northern Portugal’s Duoro valley region.

Very less information about its ancestry or its origin is known. It is used as the main role in the heavy fitter Port blends and also used in the production of the light red and rose wines and some table wines.

The wines made from this grape variety are elegant, light in the test and highly aromatic. Although it is mainly found in the Douro region as there appears to be a little variety of it growing outside this region, but it also has dedicated cultivation in California’s Central Valley in North America.

Wine grape varieties

Yet in the recent discoveries have led to controversies that the imported variety to the California region proved to be Touriga Nacional instead of Alvarelhao or Alvarelhao may in fact be the Touriga Nacional variety.

Despite all this, the planting of this variety is somewhat declining. Wines are best consumed young. False flavors may be developed due to aging and so the fermentation of the grape takes less time.

Origin of Brancellao

It is native to the Galicia region of Spain. Its origin, like many other varieties of grape is unknown. Some DNA studies have driven by the fact that it could be possibly very much similar to the Esgana Cao variety.

Envero do #Brancellao de #FazendaPrádio #RibeiraSacra

A photo posted by Xabi (@fazendapradio) on

This variety might get extinct accounting to the shortage due to low productivity. It is also grown in the area of DO: Rias Baixas and Ribeira Sacra.

Other details about how the grape originated and how it was brought to this region is still not known. Experiments on the grape to make new flavors and wines are being done.

Features of Brancellao

Brancellao grapes belong to the small, oval short berry type.

It makes ruby red and light ruby red delicious wines with fragile and harmonious fragrances.

These are used to mix with other varieties as well.

It belongs to the late flowering period variety. The buds appear and ripen late, which prevents it from spring frost. It is a strong variety of grape with a fairly high upright habit of growth.

The leaves of the vines are dark green colored, sizing from medium to large, 3-conical and rather loose, with small, short elliptical berries. Its berries are black-blue skinned.

It has been accounted for as delivering red wines with great acidity and balance. Its vines are harsh and hard, however it can oppose any extreme level of temperature. It is lower in color than tannin.

It does not show any particular virtues for either red wines or port blenders. The wines are light and aromatic which display less complexity and aging ability.

It produces good quality wine with a good disease resistant factor. The grape is used in the blends of many wines to add aroma.

Food Pairing

This variety of grapes is used to make wine with slightly high acidity making it fairly easy to pair with all food items. It goes well with the dishes with high salt content.

However, dishes with high flavors should be avoided with this wine having a light taste which will eventually diminish with the high flavors of the food.

You can enjoy the elegant flavor of the wine with salads and any dish with high salt content. Spaghetti can be taken with this wine. Despite the common misconception that red wine and chocolate go well together, this matching is quite difficult to pull off.

The bitter tannins in the wine multiply the bitter flavors in the chocolate, which makes the whole pairing taste too bitter.  Generally, we should steer clear of the pairing of red wine and fish.

The variety has not yet developed to the extent that it can be added among the best wines of the regions and so it needs to reach other parts of the world.

Also the production rate has gone down, which will lead to the extinction of the variety so to cater to the demands of the coming generation the production of the grape variety also needs to be increased.


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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Wines with Brancellao grapes

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