Loureiro is a green grape thought to come from Portugal.
It is a high acidity grape, which makes it easy to mistake it for its “partner in crime” Alvarinho. Loureiro however express flavours more in the direction of herbs, especially laurel (hence the name). Additionally, you can expect to find citrus and a hint of green apple.
Loureiro has a history of being blended with Alvarinho. Today it is also commonly used to produce dry varietal wines. The ones from Vinho Verde tend to come with somewhat higher acidity than their Spanish cousins.
Fish or shellfish dishes are excellent pairings with a dry Loureiro wine. Serve the wine at 8-10°C/46-50°F.
Where is it grown?
Loureiro’s heartland is in Portugal’s northern region Vinho Verde. There are plantings of 3.469 ha 8,572 ac, placing it as Portugal’s fourteenth most planted grape. In Spain’s north-westerly region Galicia with the wine region Rias Baixas (bordering to Vinho Verde), there are 589 ha/1,455 ac.
There are no reports of plantings outside the Iberian Peninsula.
It has been established that Loureiro is an offspring of Amaral and Branco Escola. It is thought to be indigenous to the Iberian Peninsula’s north-western corner, most likely in the Vinho Verde region.
As one of its synonyms is Arinto, it has most likely been confused with this variety throughout time.