Alarije is a not too famous green grape variety grown in Extremadura, in the hot and dry south west Spain, e.g. on the border to Portugal.
Not surprisingly, very little is written about the character of varietal wines made from Alarije as it is a variety that most commonly is used for blending purposes.
The DO that allows for the use of Alarije is called Ribera del Guadiana.
It is however clear that Alarije with its small plantings lives in the
shadow of some of the other eleven white grapes allowed in this DO, in particular Cayetana Blanca, Chelva, and Macabeo.
When you are in Extremadura, a must-try is a varietal Alarije wine with some slices of Jamón Ibérico, the delicious local ham. An alternative is to try the wine with some local, fresh fruit, for example apricots. The wine is best enjoyed at 8°C/46°F – 10°C/50°F.
Where is it grown?
The variety’s total acreage in Spain in 2010 was 1.726 ha/4,265 ac (Mpg rank 40). Out of this Extremadura was reported to have 1.370 ha/3,380 ac. It can be noted that Extremadura’s south most sub-region, Badajoz, had increased their plantings with twenty-one per cent to 825 ha/2,040 ac since 2000, while the north most sub-region, Caceres, had decreased their plantings with forty percent to 540 ha/1.340 ac in the same time period.
Alarije is said to be grown exclusively in Extremadura. There are however plantings reported also from other parts of Spain, for example in Toledo, Tarragona, and Barcelona.
The grape is thought of having originated in Extremadura, although there are unconfirmed suggestions it could have been brought there from the Middle East when the Moors invaded the Iberian Peninsula in the eighth century.