Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Macabeo is northern Spain’s second most planted white grape variety (considerably after airén), whose total had grown to 37,514 ha/49,400 acres by 2011, and, as Maccabéo or Macabeu, was still planted on 2,172 ha/5,367 acres of French vineyard, mainly in roussillon. It buds and ripens too late to be grown much further north but is quite productive.

It is grown in most Spanish regions apart from Galicia and the far south with the greatest areas in castilla-la mancha where it makes relatively bland dry whites, and in catalunya where it is an ingredient in cava, generally blended with Xarello and Parellada. More than 2,000 ha/4,942 acres remain in each of aragón and rioja where, as Viura, it replaced Malvasia Fina and Garnacha Blanca after phylloxera. Average vine age is high in Rioja and can be matched by wine quality if yields are restricted.