Macabeo / Viura wine grape
Macabeo / Viura
Northern Spain’s most-planted white grape, thanks largely to its dominant role (as Macabeo, or Macabeu in Catalan) in the traditional blend for Cava. As Viura, it’s the main component of white Rioja, though again usually as part of a blend.
There are also significant amounts of Maccabéo or Maccabeu across the Pyrenees in France’s Roussillon. Traditionally used to make sweet fortified Vins Doux Naturels, it is increasingly found in characterful dry whites, again usually blended. It ripens too late to be found further north.
Macabeo is well-suited to relatively early picking, which retains the crisp, green-apple acidity required for bottle-fermented sparkling wines like Cava. Its thick skins contain plenty of phenolic compounds which resist oxidation, something especially valued in Rioja where long barrel-aging is the norm even for whites. Despite the thick skins, its tightly-packed bunches are susceptible to rot so it prefers hot, dry climates.
Early-picked Macabeo can be simply crisp and neutral, but riper examples are reasonably aromatic with light floral scents. It suits oak, and many of the best traditional oak-aged white Riojas are mostly or entirely Viura.
Decanting Club wines containing: Macabeo / Viura
From Rioja, Spain
Quinta Milú, La Bicicleta Voladora
Subscribe to our mailing list,
be in with a chance to win a FREE month's supply of wine
Full terms and conditions
Get in touch