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Tipos de uvas

Types of grapes and their main characteristics. Learn how to tell them apart!

There are numerous types of grapes and each one has distinctive characteristics that result in very different types of wines. Would you be able to recognise each of the grape varieties grown in our country?

We propose a review of some of the most famous grape varieties in Spain. To put it to the test, what better practice than a tasting of Finca Antigua’s range of single-varietal wines, the collection of wines made 100% with each of the grapes we will see below. This type of wine shows us the peculiarities of the grape variety, revealing its flavours. 

What will you achieve with this? You will become an expert, and, above all, you will be able to distinguish which variety is your favourite and look for it in single or multi-varietals that contain it.  

Tempranillo

Probably the variety you have heard most about, the Spanish grape par excellence. It is native to La Rioja, and the most widely used variety in La Mancha, although it is allowed in a large number of different Origin Denominations, which means that it can be found in very different climates, resulting in a great wealth of flavours and nuances.

Wine: Its wines are elegant. It is a variety with few tannins that will result in silky wines, but with good body, intense purple colour and red fruit aromas.

Short cycle grape, it is harvested early, which gave rise to its name. Particularly resistant to spring frosts due to its ripening times. Good storage and ageing.

Merlot

If with the tempranillo variety we saw that it was the most planted variety in Spain, merlot has the merit of being the most planted worldwide. It is a grape variety of French origin, from the Bordeaux region. This variety is often used in blends to improve the properties of other varietals.

Wine: Intense ruby colour, primary aromas of red fruits and background notes of truffle and violets. The Merlot variety is used to make smooth and balanced wines.

Grape: low production despite its good fertility. The grapes are small and conical in shape with thick, dark skin.

Syrah

It has even been said that this strain comes from the city of Shiraz in Persia, from where it travelled to France to spread from there to the rest of the world. Whatever its real origin, the truth is that it is a crop that gives good results in France, Italy, Australia, Argentina, Chile and of course Spain, where it has adapted particularly well in La Mancha.

Wine: The main characteristic will be the concentration of tannins. With a bright dark red colour and purplish touches. They usually have aromas of black fruits with notes of blackcurrant, violets, and wild blackberries. Full-bodied wines.

Grape: Elliptical in shape, thick skin, and colourless flesh with good acidity. The bunches are compact, dense, conical in shape and of medium size.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Another of the most widespread varieties worldwide thanks to its good adaptation to most soils. It comes from the cross between cabernet franc and sauvignon blanc and owes its fame to the prominence given to this variety during the 18th century to the production of wines in Bordeaux. It tends to produce wines which are highly appreciated for their complexity and great oenological quality.

Wine: The properties of the wines elaborated with Cabernet Sauvignon will depend a lot on its maturation time. Young wines will have an intense aromaticity and will be rougher while the more aged varieties will become much sweeter giving more complex wines. They all tend to share an intense colour with bluish glints, herbaceous taste and fruity and floral aromas.

Grape: It comes in small, cone-shaped bunches. It is dark in colour and has a thick skin.

Petit Verdot

This grape variety has a late ripening, which does not make it suitable for any place, thriving better in warm climates. It is widely used for the so-called blending wines due to its suitability for blending with other varieties. In spite of this, at Finca Antigua we make our single varietal Crianza with 100% Petit Verdot, with excellent results in spite of its complexity due to its production on its own.

Wine: The wines will have aromas of black fruits, spicy tones, and complex flavour, with very diverse nuances.

Grape: The berries are small and uniform in shape, with thick skin and very juicy flesh.

Garnacha

Garnacha is one of the classic grape varieties that has become fashionable in recent years. In Spain it is the third most planted variety, behind Tempranillo, which makes us one of the countries with the highest production of Garnacha. A peculiarity is that Garnacha has 3 different varieties: white, hairy and red.

Wine: Fruity, with a low acidity and fine tannin, which makes these wines delicate and smooth on the palate. Medium colour in bright red tones with purplish edges. On the nose we can identify white flowers while on the palate we can distinguish red fruits such as raspberries.

Grape: in large, compact bunches with uniform berry with a fine, delicate skin.

There are approximately 1,300 different grape varieties grown in the world for winemaking. The possibilities are endless and are determined by the climate and soil in which they are grown. We know that it is impossible for you to know them all, but at least you already know some of the most important varieties in Spain.


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