Yes, turruntés, not torrontes. Rioja is best known for its red wines. But that is no reason to ignore the whites. You can find them in different styles. They can be seriously full-bodied wines with lots of mouthfeel or fresh and floral everyday wines. To put white wine in oak barrels is an old tradition in Rioja. In recent years, they have also begun to ferment in oak barrels and age on the lees.
The surface area for white grapes in Rioja fell steadily between 1985 and 2014 but has since started to increase again. In 2014, there were 3,884 hectares, now there are 5,965 hectares. In total Rioja has 65,000 hectares.
The white grapes in Rioja are
- Viura (70% of the acreage),
- Tempranillo Blanco (12%, a mutation of red Tempranillo discovered in 1988),
- Verdejo (5%),
- Garnacha Blanca (3%),
- Sauvignon Blanc (3%)
- Malvasia de Rioja (2%) and
- Chardonnay (2%).
In addition, there are small plots of Maturana Blanca and Turruntés. Interesting grapes that you should try if you get the chance.
The spelling torrontés is perhaps more familiar, but that is a totally different aromatic grape variety in Argentina.
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