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Tag Archives: Grape Profile

Grape Profile Verdil: A Highly Misunderstood Indigenous Grape of Valencia

Editor’s Note: If you remember, a little while back, Ryan reviewed the book “Valencia, Land of Wine“, written by Joan C. Martin and translated and edited by John Maher. While, in Valencia, we asked John how he felt about writing the occasional piece for us on Valancian wine, being our resident expert and all. And to our great surprise, he agreed. You’ll see from his elegant prose and witty humor that our choice was a good one! We are very happy to have him join us and suggest you check out his profile on our “About” page for more information. That said, his piece today is a request on my part to have him share his knowledge on the native […]

Iberian Wine Wiki – Well Sort of (project closed)

According to Dictionary.com a Wiki is defined as: A collaborative website whose content can be edited by anyone who has access to it. Catavino.net’s definition of the Iberian Wine Wiki is as such: A repository for our research into the grape varietals and regions of Spain and Portugal. The main difference between both definitions is the lack of the word “collaborative” in ours. Currently we are choosing to keep this new Iberian Wine Wiki as a Catavino project, using the indexing behavior of Dokuwiki software to help us layout the information. We also want information to be accessible to anyone who wants to look at it. Now, we’re obviously no island unto ourselves, and we are very interested in people […]

Grape Profile – Castelão

Over the course of the three years we’ve lived in Spain, I really don’t know if I’m any closer to having a solid grasp on the indigenous grape varietals now than I was when we first arrived. The moment I feel confident in a varietal, the rug gets pulled out from underneath me and I’m lost…again. I wish I could say that this is a temporary state of being, but I fear it’s not. Everyday I am swimming in a waterfall of new information, typically finding myself with more questions than answers. And with the vast number of grape varietals that exist on the Peninsula, I find that I’m typically hounded with questions like: I know that Tinta Roriz is […]

The Mainstay of Cava Wine: Macabeo, Parellada and Xarel.lo

Well, we could begin with the obvious, bubbles! Bubbles are fun. They’re playful. And they make every occasion just a touch more festive and cheerful. Each time you’re poured a glass of Cava, you can’t help but find yourself entranced by their journey from the bottom to the top of your flute, eager to escape and share their rather addictive aromas of toast, cream, almonds, green apple, peach, etc. etc. etc. Sigh, it’s nine-thirty in the morning and just by reminiscing on how wonderful this drink is, I’m tempted to pop a bottle and drink while writing. Fortunately, in the crowd that tends to read our blog, I would eagerly supported in my decision. Come to think of it, I […]

2 Fantastic White Mono-varietal Portuguese Wines

Do you ever have those nights when you just want something simple? When anything other than opening a package of meat and putting it directly on the grill sounds too complicated and annoying. A few nights ago, we had this exact experience, debating whether ordering Chinese food wasn’t a bad option; but instead, we opted for a simple dinner of chili lime marinated grilled chicken with a tossed salad and a white monovarietal Portuguese wine made with Verdehlo. Simple. Good for watching the full moon. And ended up being one of the best no brainer meals we’ve had in awhile. Funny that! The white grape varietal, Verdehlo, is primarily known for its elaboration in Madeira wines, but is rarely talked […]

Grape Profile – Touriga Nacional

Help! I’ve got me self a glass full of violets! I do! I do! I think every wine writer/aficionado goes through moments where all of their notes seem to run together. Similar descriptors and textures make it appear that we’re tasting the same exact wine over and over again. Sometimes this is laziness and sometimes it’s the result of tasting too many wines in one peer group. When we speak of Portugal, we are often speaking of one particular grape that is the main culprit for my nose filling with lush, vibrant, purple violets: Touriga Nacional. Granted, there are 200+ native grapes grown and used here in Portugal and in combinations that would make your head spin. We’ve smelled and […]

Albariño Videos

I found a few videos on the web today all about Albarino, a grape we featured recently with a Virtual Tasting. Sponsored by Rias Baixas and hosted by Doug Frost, they do a nice job telling people more about this great region and grape. Here’s one of the videos, with a link to a few others. Personally, I think it’s great to see a Spanish wine region willing to try something new and engage the Web 2.0 phenomenon. Enjoy and let us know what you think. X Marks the Spot – Where to find Albarino wines Albarino – Exceptional with Everything or Nothing #Update1 I found this set of video’s on a buried press release that came in through a […]


Callet is not an internationally known red grape, but one that has made itself a name throughout Mallorca, Spain. In the past, it was considered a rustic grape used only for making young rosés and reds, but has now lent itself to making deep-coloured, low-alcohol blends. When blended with varieties such as Cabernet, Manto Negro, Tempranillo, Fogoneu Mallorqui or Fogoneu Frances, it typically adds both complexity and spice. Some bodegas to keep in mind while searching out varietal are Bodegas Pere Seda and Bodegas Miquel Oliver. Both Bodegas have blended Callet into both their roses and red wines to give both complexity and spice. Search for tasting notes on Callet : here


Mersequera is a white grape primarily used in wine from D.O. Valencia, in addition to D.O. Utiel-Requena, Alicante, Almansa, Tarragona, Vin Vinalopó and Yecla. The grape can also be called, Encanyavella, Exquitxagos, Messeguera, Trobat and Verdosilla. Known as being an extremely adaptable and resilient grape, able to grow in almost any climate or soil type, Mersequera produces wines known for their low alcohol and almond flavors. Bodegas Murviedro , located in D.O. Utiel-Requena, is one of many Bodegas on the Eastern coast of Spain who have worked extensively with Mesquera.


Pronounciation: Pick-a-pole Other known names: Picpoul, Folle Blanche, Piquepoul, Gros Meslier, Picpoul, Folle Blanche, Avello and Picpoule Blanc. Historically dating back to the 17th century, Picapoll is a grape varietal native to the Languedoc area of France that has currently found its way to the northeast portion of Spain in Catalonia. Found as a red, white and gray varietal, the white varietal is currently the most often planted. Picapoll is translated as “lip-stinger’ in French as a result of the high acidity of its must and was the basis of Picardan and Clairette, popular wines that were exported from Languedoc to Northern Europe. Following the invasion of phylloxera, a fungal disease that hit the majority of Northern Europe, plantings of […]