Airen

Airen grapes
Airen grapes

Most people have probably never heard of this hardy variety - even though it accounts for more than 5% of the global wine crop.

Most people have probably never heard of this hardy variety - even though it accounts for more than 5% of the global wine crop.

It has an ability to thrive in some of the most inhospitable soils and growing conditions.

Spain is its natural home, with more than 90% of the global production; it is particularly popular in areas such as La Mancha and Valdepenas.

In the past, it was used for two things: a blending grape for some of the mellower reds, adding the acidity needed to bring the best from varieties such as Cencibel, a Tempranillo clone; and for making some rather harsh and highly-alcoholic wines not for the export market.

In recent times, though, this workhorse of the wine world has been used to create some light and unpretentious whites.

Clean acidity and freshness complement oily white fish such as sardines and mackerel; they also pair nicely with garlicky seafood and light oriental dishes.

AirenBottle[box type="info"] Campo Azafran Airen Sauvignon

Airen, Sauvignon

La Mancha, Spain

£6.49