Grape (Vitis)
Macabeo in Viala & Vermorel
Color of berry skinWhite
SpeciesVitis vinifera
Also calledViura, Macabeu and other synonyms
Pedigree parent 1Hebén
Pedigree parent 2Brustiano faux
Notable regionsRioja, Catalonia
Notable winesCava, white Rioja
VIVC number13127

Macabeo, also called Viura or Macabeu (Catalan: [məkəˈβew], French: [makabø]), is a white variety of wine grape.

It is widely grown in the Rioja region of northeastern Spain, the Cava producing areas south of Barcelona, and the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France. Spanish plantations stood at nearly 45,000 hectares (110,000 acres) in 2015, making it the second most grown white grape variety in Spain. In France, plantations accounted for 2,800 hectares (6,900 acres) in 2007.[1] Since 2009, some Macabeo is grown in Israel.[citation needed]

Styles and winemaking

A white Rioja made mostly from the Viura grape.

The grape is mostly used to make mildly acidic and young white wines mostly suitable for early consumption or blending with other varieties, both red and white. Some of the most pleasurable examples of the variety are planted along the Pyrenees, where it is used to produce highly saline and textural white wine.

It is often the main grape of white Rioja and is sometimes blended in small amounts with Tempranillo and red Garnacha, both in unoaked and oaked versions. It was introduced in Rioja after the phylloxera epidemic, where it largely replaced Malvasia and Garnacha blanca, partially because of the ability of its wines to better withstand oxidation.[2] Some producers of white Rioja make superior wines (Reserva and Gran Reserva) subjected to extended ageing that can span decades, resulting in a highly distinctive and aromatic wine.

Macabeo (or Macabeu, as it is known in Catalan) is traditionally blended with Xarel·lo and Parellada to make cava, the best-known sparkling wine of Spain, and it is also used on its own in varietal wines. It is also used in the base spirit used to create Obsello Absinthe.

In Roussillon, late-picked Macabeo is also used in fortified wine (vin doux naturel). As well as on its own as exceptional young white wine[2]


Macabeo is also known by the following synonyms:[3] Alcañol, Alcañón, Blanca de Daroca, Charas blanc, Forcalla, Gredelín, Lardot, Listan Andaludschii, Listan Andaluzskii, Lloza, Macaban, Macabeu, Maccabeo, Maccabeou, Maccabeu, Makkobeo, Malvoisie, Provensal, Queue de Renard, Rossan, Subirat, Tokay, Viura. Some of these synonyms are also proper names of other grape varieties.


  1. ^ Viniflhor stats 2008: Les cepages blanc dans le vignoble Archived 2012-03-01 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b Jancis Robinson, ed. (2006). "Macabeo". Oxford Companion to Wine (Third ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 414. ISBN 0-19-860990-6.
  3. ^ "VIURA". Vitis International Variety Catalogue VIVC. Julius Kühn-Institut - Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants (JKI), Institute for Grapevine Breeding - Geilweilerhof (ZR). August 2017. Retrieved 2017-09-28.