Permitted grape varieties for the DO León
The red grape variety par excellence which represents this winemaking region and accounts for 69% of the vineyard area in the DO This is a dark-skinned red wine grape variety with small, compact clusters, medium-high fertility and drought resistant.
It gives rise to the well-known sparkling rosé wine using the ancestral technique of “madreo”, adding grapes to the wine during its fermentation, producing both young and oak-aged red wines of excellent quality.
These are highly aromatic wines with a very persistent palate, characterised by the variety’s natural acidity in the order of 7g/L in tartaric acid.
A light-skinned grape variety that takes up 3% of the area of vines cultivated. It has small clusters of tight, concentrated berries with great aromatic expression.
It produces wines with marked citrus and floral aromas, good alcohol content and acidity. The grapes ripen early and are highly aromatic, resulting in wines with floral, fruity aromas of muscatel, good alcohol content and fresh acidity.
Red-wine variety which occupies 4% of the DO’s vineyards. Good fertility but sensitive to fungal diseases. It produces aromatic wines which, together with the Prieto Picudo variety, create good reds and interesting rosés. This variety has small, compact clusters with average-sized, thick-skinned ellipsoidal berries with a regular cross-section. The must is maroon red with a neutral flavour, high in sugar but low in acidity, especially when the grapes are harvested very ripe.
White grape variety accounting for 6% of the area of vines grown in the DO. It is quite fertile but very sensitive to the grapevine moth and powdery mildew, encouraged by its large amount of vegetation.
Verdejo wines are green-yellow in colour with good alcohol content and acidity. They have a good dry extract value and great glycerine mouthfeel.
White grape variety occupying less than 1% of the DO’s area of vineyards. This variety is early to bud and ripen but sensitive to spring frosts, although with good fertility.
It produces wines with medium acidity and very fresh aromas. This grape produces high quality white wines with great aromatic potential. It originally comes from the banks of the River Sil. The clusters are small and dense, with medium-sized, greenish-yellow berries. This vine is also sensitive to humidity and cold and therefore requires a lot of attention throughout the year. It consequently thrives in dry sites.
Red-grape variety representing 17% of the total vine area. This is the widest-grown variety in Spain and is used as an auxiliary variety for both red and rosé wines.
Due to its low acidity and also low sugar content, it tends to be combined with other varieties but normally comprises 90% of the blend.
A red grape variety that occupies less than 1% of the area of vines grown in the DO It is very vigorous but sensitive to frost due to its early bud break. It ripens late and can produce high yields in production. It is used as an auxiliary variety to produce both reds and rosés.
Types of wine covered
The types of wine covered by the DO León are as follows:
Blanco, produced with at least 50% of grapes from the main white varieties: Albarín, Verdejo y Godello. The remaining 50% can be made up of the Auxiliary varieties.
Rosado, produced with at least 60% of grapes from the main varieties of Prieto Picudo and/or Mencía. The remaining 40% can be made up of auxiliary red and/or white varieties. The minimum alcohol content must be 11°.
Tinto, produced with at least 60% of grapes from the variety of Prieto Picudo and/or Mencía. The remaining 40% can be made up of a combination of the other permitted red grape varieties.