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Wines with Mataro grapes

The Mourvedre grape, popularly known as the Mataro grape, is one of the most popularly known red grape varieties.


Mataro grapes

Its popularity can be seen from the fact that it’s grown around the world with the Rhone-Alpes region, as well as Provence of France and Jumiliadenominacion de origens of Spain, California, Washington and Australian regions including New South Wales being its dominant producers.

It is thus considered one of the most sought after red grapes to produce wines.

Wine grape varieties

Historically too, the red grape enjoys a lot of records and evidences that we will discuss below.

Like all other red grapes, the Marato underwent dynamic changes during the phylloxera plague, but survived in the long run.

Now, in Spain alone, some 155,000 acres of Marato plantations can be found spread across the Spanish plateaus.

The Mourvedre grape is easy to grow, although they are susceptible to several pests and viticulture hazards such as powdery and mildew and produces a fruity wine, high in tannin and alcohol.

History of Mataro

The Mataro grapes have a definite Spanish origin, although the exact history is still under debate.

Most researchers agree that the grape was introduced around the Catalonia region by the Phoenicians around 500BC where it quickly spread across the northern edges of the Iberian Peninsula.

Its next destination was France, where it might have been introduced during the early medieval period by monks and travelers.

The French thus called the grape Mourvedre (the name most probably derived from Murviedro) and started growing it in the Roussillon region of southern France.

Its presence still heavily noticeable, the grape spread eastwards to the Rhone-Alpes and Provence where it’s grown in plentiful.

The modern day Spanish term Monastrell though, remains a mystery on how and when this term was adopted. Most agree that a more ‘neutral’ term was adopted over the years.

Until the phylloxera crisis struck, the grape prospered and established its own wine industry. Sadly, the grape had no immunity against pests and fungal infections, so phylloxera struck a very heavy blow to it, destroying more than half of all Mataro plantations across Spain and France within days and months.

Considering such a heavy crisis, many immigrants and travelers sought immediate action and took to American techniques of grafting that were reported to be immune to pests, although that didn’t help much.

Mataro grapes were thus taken by some travelers and winemakers to move them to safer places.

As the grape was adaptable to a range of topographies and climates, it found many new lands in the US and Australia, where southern regions of both continents offered bright sunlight and enough irrigation suitable for its growth.

Around 1000 acres in the US alone are now attested to be pure Mataro plantations.

Viticulture and winemaking

The Mataro grape is adaptable a whole lot of topographies and hemisphere, although there is this perfect condition that needs to be met to produce the best of Mataro grapes.

Being non-resistant to cold climate, this can only be grown in areas with direct sunlight and a shallow, clay soil that can retain moisture to keep the vines ‘feet’ wet; probably the reason why Mataro is now grown in California and southern edges of Australia.

This grape has the tendency to bud and ripen late. Although it can be resistant to some spring frost and can recover well, it has been found to be temperature sensitive and can affect overall dormancy.

Berry density is high, meaning that a single stock can have compact grapes that can pose some difficulty when picking up.

Viticulture hazards and pests need to be kept at bay as the grape is not very resistant to extreme climatic changes and fungal infections.

When harvested, the grapes produce high tannin- high alcohol content with prune-like flavor, with intense fruity aromas too.

Complementary foods

The Mourvedre wines are high in alcohol, finesse and taste extremely fruity and prune-like.

For vegetarians, this goes best with several salad dressings and dishes.

A photo posted by Scout + Co (@scoutnco) on

Fill a glassful of Mataro wine with lentils, Portabella mushrooms tossed with black pepper and soy sauce to make an excellent Mourvedre cuisine.

Make sure the food you pair are very mild and light for the fruity wine to have its full effect.

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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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