Viura Grape Variety: A Versatile Star In The World Of Wine

Let’s dive into the world of the Viura grape, a hidden gem in the white wine universe. Often overshadowed by more famous varieties, Viura is like that indie band you love – not mainstream, but absolutely fabulous. Known as Macabeo in Spain and Maccabéo in France, this grape is a key player in some of the most delightful and versatile wines you’ll taste.

A Brief History

Tracing its roots back to Spain, Viura has been a staple in Spanish vineyards for centuries. It’s a historic variety, primarily found in the Rioja and Catalonia regions. Over time, it spread to other wine-producing countries but always kept a low profile, being the unsung hero in many blends.


This white wine grape variety is hardy and reliable – think of them as the dependable friend in your group. They’re resistant to oxidation, which makes them a favorite among winemakers. The grapes themselves are small, with a thick skin that contributes to their robust nature.

Flavour Profile

If Viura were a song, it would be a complex melody, rich in surprising notes and unexpected twists. This grape’s flavor profile is a vibrant spectrum that shifts from the fresh and floral to the richly nutty and opulent, heavily influenced by the winemaking process. Young Viura wines dance on the palate with zesty liveliness, brimming with crisp notes of green apple, zingy lemon, and at times a subtle floral whisper, reminiscent of a gentle spring breeze through a blossoming orchard. As these wines age, they undergo a remarkable transformation, much like a fine piece of music maturing over time. The flavors deepen and gain complexity, evolving into a symphony of richer, more nuanced tones – think of the warm, embracing sweetness of honey, the earthy, sophisticated depth of nuts, and the tantalizing allure of spices. This evolution in the bottle brings forth a tapestry of tastes that can surprise and delight even the most discerning palates, truly showcasing the dynamic and versatile character of the Viura grape.

Different Styles of Wines

Viura is a bit of a chameleon in the wine world. It can produce a variety of styles – from light and crisp to rich and full-bodied. It’s the lead singer in white Rioja wines, often blended with Garnacha Blanca and Malvasia to create a harmonious trio. In Cava, Spain’s answer to Champagne, Viura adds freshness and acidity to the sparkling ensemble.

Winemaking and Maturation Options

The magic of Viura truly shines in the hands of the winemaker. It can be fermented in stainless steel tanks to retain its fresh, fruity character, or aged in oak barrels for added complexity and depth. Some winemakers even experiment with lees aging – letting the wine sit with yeast particles – to add creaminess and body.

Important Regions

Viura’s heartland is Rioja, where it’s the dominant white grape. It thrives in the region’s varied terroirs, from the cooler, higher altitude Rioja Alavesa to the warmer and drier Rioja Baja. Beyond Spain, it’s found in Languedoc-Roussillon in France, and adventurous winemakers in the New World are starting to explore its potential.

Food Pairing Suggestions

Pairing food with Viura is a joy. Its versatility means it can accompany a wide range of dishes. Think fresh salads, seafood, and light pasta for young, crisp Viuras. As they age and gain richness, pair them with creamy sauces, poultry, and even spicier dishes. The nuttier, more complex aged Viuras can stand up to heartier fare like roasted meats and aged cheeses.

So, there you have it – Viura, a grape that might not be in the spotlight, but deserves a standing ovation. Whether you’re a wine newbie or a seasoned connoisseur, Viura offers something for everyone. It’s a reminder that sometimes, the best treasures are hidden just beneath the surface.

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Written by

Bernard Marr has a deep passion for wine. He has written hundreds of articles on wine, including features for Forbes, covering wine-making and industry trends. Away from the world of wine, Bernard is a world-renown business and technology futurist. He is the award winning author of over 20 best-selling books and has a combined audience of nearly 4 million people across his social media channels and newsletters.

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