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Chardonnay, Viura, Sauvignon Blanc… All about our white grapes!

At El Coto de Rioja we have an incredible variety of white wines, did you know that? So, we’re encouraging you to have a #WhiteWineSummer and enjoy them like never before. Among other things, we wanted to help you understand a bit more about how different grapes produce such special wines, so distinct and unique. Our 7 white wines are made from 4 grape varieties: Chardonnay, Viura, Sauvignon Blanc and Verdejo. All different, all special. Even when we have an assemblage of several of them...

Discover all the characteristics of white grapes in this article. Here we go!

Caracteristicas uva chardonnay

Characteristics of the Chardonnay grape and its wines

Chardonnay grapes are originally from the Burgundy region of France, although they can now be found in loads of countries, including Spain.

This grape, which we use to make our 875m Chardonnay, for example, is small to medium in size and ripens early. Its aromas could be classified as fruity, with tropical and citrus notes, like pineapple or lemon.

The grapes for our 875m Chardonnay are grown at Finca Carbonera, the highest altitude vineyard in all of DOCa Rioja. It is the perfect wine for dishes like fish stew, arroz caldoso (rice in fish broth), foie, oily fish, seafood... It’s amazing!

If you’re looking for simple, summery recipes to enjoy with a good white, don’t miss this article.

7 great summer recipes to pair with white wines

Characteristics of the Viura grape: originally from Catalonia

The Viura grape, also known as Macabeo in some areas of the country, is originally from the Camp de Tarragona area. How do we know that? Because it was first mentioned by Lluís Ponç d’Icard, a jurist and historian, in one of his texts dated 1564. Although, as always, there are discrepancies as to the origin of this type of grape by the zone…

Regardless, Viura is the most common grape for making white wine in La Rioja today, including our El Coto Blanco, which is made with an assemblage of Viura, Verdejo and Sauvignon Blanc. It has average acidity, perfect for blending with other varieties, like we do. It has moderate acidity and very natural aromas, like green apple and pear.

A curious fact is that the Viura grape was introduced in La Rioja after the phylloxera epidemic that decimated vineyards all over the country. Did you know that?

caracteristicas uva viura
caracteristicas sauvignon blanc

Sauvignon Blanc grapes and the wines made with them

Sauvignon Blanc grapes are originally from the French city of Bordeaux, although they are now found nearly everywhere in the world, including Chile, France and California.

This type of grape grows in small bunches. It is fresh and produces dry, acidic, elegant wines like our Coto Mayor Sauvignon Blanc. This wine has a greenish yellow tone, the boxwood aromas typical of Sauvignon Blanc grown in cold areas, and notes of citrus and tropical fruit. Don’t know what boxwood aromas are? That’s because you didn’t read the first instalment of our Wine Dictionary…


Sauvignon Blanc grapes are one of the most special and least common in our country in terms of white grape varieties. These wines are perfect for pairing with appetisers, seafood, fish, rice and pasta dishes.

Have you tried the El Coto Selección Viñedos Sauvignon Blanc?

Main characteristics of the Verdejo grape and its wines

The Verdejo grape is among the most well-known in our country, especially as it is grown abundantly in DO Rueda. But that isn’t the only part of our country where you can find it! Here in La Rioja, we also grow Verdejo grapes. Did you know that they used to be used to make fortified wines? Now, however, it’s a grape that’s not only ideal on its own, but is also great blended with other varieties like Viura and Sauvignon Blanc, as we saw before.

These grapes have really intense fruit aromas, such as pear, citrus and even herbaceous notes reminiscent of fennel or hay. Verdejo gives wines a complex structure, with personality, although they are also perfect wines for pairing with many types of food.

El Coto Verdejo is great to enjoy year-round, but now in summer… It’s even better!

Before you go, do you want to know why El Coto is a benchmark in white wine? Find out here.

The incredible project of El Coto whites