Spain is known worldwide for its rich wine culture and diverse grape varieties. While wines made from Tempranillo, Garnacha, and Albariño grapes are famous, there are also lesser-known varieties that deserve recognition. Two such varieties are Prieto Picudo and Rufete, which have their origins in different regions of Spain.
Prieto Picudo is a red grape variety mainly grown in the region of Castilla y León, particularly in the provinces of León and Zamora. The name “Prieto Picudo” translates to “dark and pointed” in Spanish, referring to the deep color and elongated shape of the grapes. The wines produced from this variety are known for their vibrant acidity, intense red fruit flavors, and distinctive aromas of violets and wild berries.
The Prieto Picudo grape is well-adapted to the harsh climatic conditions of the region, with its thick skin protecting it from diseases and allowing for a longer ripening period. This extended ripening time contributes to the wine’s complexity and structure. While Prieto Picudo wines are still relatively under the radar, they are gaining recognition for their unique characteristics and exceptional quality.
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In the article “How to recork wine without a cork?” on our website, we provide tips on how to store wine properly and prevent it from spoiling. This information can be useful when you want to preserve the flavors and aromas of a bottle of Prieto Picudo wine for an extended period.
Rufete is another lesser-known red grape variety that is primarily cultivated in the regions of Castilla y León, Extremadura, and Portugal. It is often used in blends to enhance the flavors of other grape varieties. Rufete grapes are small and have thin skins, contributing to a lighter-bodied wine with delicate tannins.
Rufete wines are known for their elegance, freshness, and red fruit aromas, such as strawberries and raspberries. They often exhibit a distinct minerality and a balanced acidity, making them a perfect match for various cuisines. While Rufete may not be as widely recognized as other Spanish grape varieties, it has the potential to become a hidden gem in the world of wine.
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Discovering lesser-known grape varieties like Prieto Picudo and Rufete adds excitement to the wine-drinking experience. These unique varieties reflect Spain’s diverse viticultural landscape and offer a taste of its rich winemaking tradition. Next time you explore Spanish wines, consider trying a bottle made from Prieto Picudo or Rufete, and you may uncover a hidden gem in the world of wine.