Palomino Fino

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Palomino Fino, white grape variety most closely associated with the making of sherry around jerez in southern Spain that is generally declining in importance there and elsewhere. It is almost certainly of Andalucian origin, supposedly named after one of King Alfonso X’s knights and was introduced to the canary islands, where it is known as Listán Blanco.

The vine is relatively susceptible to downy mildew and anthracnose and responds best in warm, dry soils. Its loose, generous bunches of large grapes make it suitable for table grapes as well as wine. Its yield is relatively high and regular, about 80 hl/ha (4.5 tons/acre) without irrigation, and the wine produced is, typically, low in both acidity (as low as 3.5 g/l expressed in tartaric acid) and fermentable sugars. This suits sherry producers who pick Palomino grapes at about 19 °Brix (see must weight) and find Palomino must’s tendency to oxidize no inconvenience, but for this very reason the variety tends to make rather flabby, vapid table wines, unless substantially assisted by acidification.