Top 10 white varieties in Spain

In the fascinating world of white wines, Spain stands out as a true paradise of varieties and flavors. With an increasing diversity and growing popularity worldwide, Spanish white wines invite us to explore a wide range of options to satisfy all tastes and occasions. From the refreshing and vibrant notes of young whites to the most powerful and complex options, Spain offers us a veritable feast for lovers of white wines. In this article, we will embark on an exciting journey through the “Top 10 White Varieties in Spain”, discovering the wine jewels that this country has to offer. Get ready to delight your senses with the richness and diversity of Spanish white wines.


It is the grape with the greatest presence in Spain, in fact it is equivalent to 23% of the total vineyards in the country and 50% of the white area.

With a strong presence in Castilla-La Mancha and Madrid. It is also known as Manchega, Valdepeñera, Lairén or Forcayat.

Airén’s personality is characterized by giving life to medium-bodied wines and light aromas reminiscent of ripe, tropical or white fruit, depending on the terroir from which it comes. In general it blends with Malvasia and Macabeo.


Native to Galicia, the queen of the DO Rías Baixas. It is also found in the DO Ribeiro and Valdeorras where it is made together with Loureiro, Godello, Arinto, Caiño and Treixadura. Depending on where it is implanted, it can be called Albarina, Alvarinha, Galego, Azal Blanco or Galeguinho.

The personality of the Albariño is characterized by giving wines with very good acidity and many aromas reminiscent of white flowers -such as jasmine and orange blossom- and fruity and balsamic notes such as eucalyptus. In general, the wines are enjoyed when young, but the versions with long aging periods are the favorites of lovers of aged wines.

Albillo Real

This typically Spanish grape is more present in the wines of Ávila, Toledo and Madrid and it is currently almost impossible to find it outside of Spain.

The Albillo Real is characterized by being very expressive and refreshing. The wines usually have a very friendly and sweet attack and vegetable aromas – reminiscent of juniper, pine or rosemary – and fruit aromas ranging from watermelon, through pear to apple. It is vinified as a white but also has a share in rosés and even reds, in small proportions to add a dose of freshness.


It shines in the DO Valdeorras, in Galicia, but it can also be found in Monterrei, Ribeiro and Ribeira Sacra. Outside of Galician soils, it is present in vineyards in Bierzo and in Portugal, more precisely in Tras os montes, where Godello represents 60% of the local white wines. Gives very aromatic wines reminiscent of flowers, white fruits, fennel or honey. On the palate it has very good acidity and has great potential for aging in oak barrels.


Very present in the Catalan Penedés where it is part of the Spanish cava. In Rioja and Navarra, it is known as Viura. It is also found in Valencia, Aragon, Castilla-La Mancha and Extremadura.

The personality of the Macabeo is characterized by giving life to dry and sparkling wines, very pleasant and light, reminiscent of citrus and minerals. In conjunction with Xarel-lo and Parellada, they make up the typical cava blend.


Mediterranean grape that needs the sun and the sea to give its best profile. In Spain it can be found in Alicante, Valencia, the Canary Islands and Malaga. Versatile like few others, it gives dry and sweet wines reminiscent of flowers, fruits and herbs.


Synonym of Jerez. It is very present in the south of Spain, where it gives life to the famous generous wines of the region. Currently it is also being vinified in still wines.

The personality of the Palomino is characterized by being citrus and tropical, herbal and mineral, standing out the most saline notes. It is ideal for those looking for exotic flavors.

Peter Jimenez

In Spain it has a strong presence in Andalusia and Valencia. Its personality is totally suitable for the typical organic aging of Jerez, where it gives life to sweet, dense and full-bodied classics that are reminiscent of flowers.


At first glance it usually has a rather greenish reflection, from which it derives its name. The grape produces wines with a very herbal character (usually reminiscent of hay, grass, white flowers and bitter almonds), with medium-high acidity, good body and a bitter finish on the palate. It is usually blended together with Sauvignon Blanc and Macabeo and there are also versions of Verdejo aged in barrels.

Very present in the DO Rueda, in Valladolid, although it is also found in Extremadura, Castilla-La Mancha and Rioja. Depending on where it is located, you can find it as Verdeja or Verdelho. It is also found in Portugal in the north of the country, in the area corresponding to the production of Vino Verde.

Xarel lo

It is the most widely planted variety in the DO Penedés, where, together with Parellada and Macabeo, it shines when it comes to cava. It is also found in Castilla León, Castilla La Mancha, Extremadura and Aragón. Depending on its origin it can be called Pansa Blanca, Castoixa, Sucre or Pansal. The personality of Xarel-lo is characterized by giving fruity wines with high acidity. Essential for the typical cava bouquet.

Mariana Gil Juncal
Graduated in social communication, journalist and sommelier.

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