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Wines with Rufete grapes

by | Aug 27, 2016

Rufete grape also known by the name of Tinta Pinheira is a red wine grape which is used in the production of the exclusive Tinta Pinheira red wine.

Wines with Rufete grapes

Wine grape varieties

This wine grape mainly grown in the province of Salamanca not only produces those light wines, which apparently oxidize fairly quickly if not treated with caution, but also produces the deep coloured dark wines which have a rich fruity flavour to noticeable tannin content.

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Regions where Rufete grapes are cultivated

Rufete apparently is known as a Portuguese or a Spanish grape variety used for making red wine.

This wine, used exclusively in the process of port wine production is primarily grown in the Douro region of Portugal.

Apart from Duoro, this grape can also be found along the Dao DOC, where this grape is fondly called as Tinta Pinheira in Portugal.

This grape is also found in the regions of Cova da Beira, Castelo Rodrigo and Pinhel in Portugal.

Apart from Portugal, this grape is also found along the Duero basin region in the province of Leon and Castile and the Arribes Denominación de Origen in Spain.

Viticulture of Rufete grape

The Rufete vine has a slightly fallen bearing when it is about to reach full maturity. The leaves of this vine give a similar look to that of Cabaret Sauvignon and the nerves of the leaf appear reddish brown.

The size of the grape is medium and the skin appears thick, thanks to which, the grape sustainable resistance to diseases like Botrytis.

When it comes to the colour of the berries, they appear bluish dark with little metallic reflections. When the vine offers a good balance, it is known to produce grapes, which are quite aromatic, having strong tannin content and a great raising structure.

This vine grows well in guijarroso soil, which is oriented to the south. This grape tends to overcrop and hence it is necessary to control the production of this vine, else the grapes give less sugars and colour and tends to form green tannins.

Characteristics of Rufete grape

Rufete, a late ripening dark skinned grape variety used in making red wines, port wines and rose wines, especially in the region of Arribes, where it plays the role of a complimentary drink or the local favourite Juan Garcia, is known by several synonyms such as Penamacor, Pinot Aigret Pennamaior, PretoRifete, Riffete, Rifete, Rofete, Rosete, Ruceta, Rosette, Rufeta, TintaCarvalha,Rupeti Berra and TintaPinheira.

Characteristics of Rufete grape wine

Rufete grape mostly produces wines which are light bodied, having a risk of getting oxidized if the anaerobic winemaking technique is not used.

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Once vinified, Rufete grapes produce full bodied wines having plumy flavours and savoury earth and herbal tones.

When this grape is not fully ripened, which might be a problem with this variety; it tends to give a minty aroma which literally spoils the taste of the wine.

This wine when aged in oak barrels produces ample tannins and gives a good acidic structure with alcohol levels of 14.5 percent.

And due to this stability that this grape offers, it is often used as a blending partner.

Flavours and aromas of Rufete grape wine

In the glass this wine gives a salmon pink light colour. On the nose, this wine appears moderately intense, with lees, funky aromas of strawberry and raspberry.

On the palate, this wine gives out crisp and well rounded flavours of red cherry, raspberry and freshly cut strawberries.  Overall, this grape appears quite plump, refreshing and quite fruity.

Food Pairings with Rufete grape

This grape goes well with the local Spanish cuisine thanks to its light taste. This wine can be had with items like grilled vegetables in parsley sauce, rice dishes like mushroom risotto or a classic Sunday roast. This wine also complements the hard cheeses well.

Thanks to the initial popularity of this wine, recently attempts have been made to make a quality varietal wine from this grape and it has yielded mixed results.

However one can say that the future looks great for the wine made from this grape as more and more bodegas are willing to invest in better technology and newer winemaking practice.


Michael Bredahl

Michael Bredahl

Wine Writer

I have been online since it all began, with blogging and creating websites. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one of my passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂

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