Grape Profile


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Macabeu is a white grape variety grown in large quantities across North East Spain and Roussillon in Southern France.

Macabeu copes very well with hot and dry regions. It spread to southern France from Spain, where it arrived from the Middle East during times of intense commercial and military traffic in the Mediterranean.


Macabeu has a fruity taste, with a notable floral, blossom aroma. It can also have lovely, textural orchard fruit flavours.

Style Range

Macabeu that goes to make dry white wines is usually part of a blend.  In the better regions of Southern France such as Minervois or Corbières the blending partners include Bourboulenc and Grenache Blanc.

If picked early, as in the Côtes du Roussillon, Macabeu produces light and characterless wines. But that’s not the worst outcome.The resulting wines become very useful blending components to lighten the regions rosés.

A similar thing happens in Spain, where it can be used to lighten rosés, but also some of them ore potent reds, with up to 10% allowed into some varietal reds wines. It is also utilised when making white Riojas in Spain, where the grape’s high resistances makes it a vital component in the adverse climate conditions.

If picked late, Macabeu is increasingly made into Southern France’s fortified speciality, Vin Doux Naturels.These wines are sweet, perfumed and with a warming alcoholic finish.

Macabeu is one of the blending components for the base wines of Cava, adding floral perfume to the final wines.


Macabeu is a vigorous vine that buds late but needs long dry autumns for full ripeness. It has naturally low acidity unless picked very early.

Food Pairings

Macabeu goes really well with milder cheeses like Mozzarella or pasta with a pesto sauce.

It’s also a great companion to grilled shrimps, green mango salad and Whitebait fritters, namely in its Rioja, slightly oxidized versions.

Growing Regions

Macabeu/Viura became very popular in Rioja when replanting happened after the phylloxera crisis.  The grapes and resultant grape juice withstand oxidation really well, which helps in the warm harvest conditions of Rioja.

Macabeu is grown across Penedes as one of the three main grapes for the production of Cava, Spain’s most famous traditional method sparkling wine. Further up in the Pyrenees it is grown to great effect, adding a lively minerality and saline texture.

It’s resistance to hot and dry regions also make it very useful in Manchuela and Yecla.

Grown across the South of France, but mainly in the up and coming region of Roussillon, where it suits the warmer, drier conditions.

Macabeu copes very well with hot and dry regions, and can be found across the vineyards of North Africa and the Middle East.

Wanderlust’s Macabeu selection

If you love Macabeu you should also explore….


Macabeu’s blending partner in Cava. Now available in varietal still wines, its earthy tastes are unusual at first but make for really fun food pairings.

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Viura’s best expressions can be quite Burgundian, worth comparing with some fine Chardonnays.

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