Airen wines

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Airen is a hardy white grape and is typically found in central Spain, it is famed for its widespread cultivation. The Airen vine is short, usually less than a foot off the ground and bushy, it is highly adaptive, growing in most soil types, and cooperates well on a trellis. Airen, in terms of acreage, is more prevalent than any other, this vigorous grape is famous for being drought resistant, and very fertile. It is not so well known for flavor or aroma, instead, it is a survivor, and consistently produces massive yields. For this reason, Airen is nurtured in nearly every wine producing vineyard worldwide, but its highest concentration is in central Spain.

By itself, the Airen wine style has a strong acidity, and is neutral in flavor, with soft fruity notes of citrus, nuts, and green apples. It is often completely clear in color, with neutral aromatic notes of herbs, flowers, green peach, and mango.

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WineStlye recommends this affordable, price friendly wine as a nice compliment to chilled almond and garlic soup. In modern times, Airen is made into a decent wine using stainless steel tanks, and temperature sensitive fermentation. With these innovations, Airen produces dry, crisp, white wines that are palatable but slightly neutral. They are intended for early consumption and not recommended for extended cellaring.

Airen’s prominence in Spain is mostly due to Francisco Franco Bahomone, who was the dictator of Spain from 1939-1975. After World War II, the Spanish government was short on funds and its people were in poverty. In an attempt to raise the poverty line, Franco encouraged his citizens to produce Spanish Brandy, and they did, in massive quantities. Airen was used as the wine base for the brandy because of its sugar content and its predictable crop yield. For this reason it was cultivated throughout central Spain in enormous quantities. Historically, Airen has enjoyed its status as the backbone of the great Spanish brandy industry, it is also used as a blended wine in many varietals to produce lighter bodied red wines.

Fashion currently favors lighter, fruitier wines, and has led to Airen losing some favor in modern times. However, as a grape, there will always be a need for its hardy, low maintenance nature. Like most Spanish vines, Airen is trained, as in ancient times, into a ‘goblet’ shape. This method requires no wires, or other materials, only pruning is used. The trunk is kept remarkably short and over the course of years is treated by pruning the branches that grow from the crown, this forms the characteristic ‘goblet’. This technique is sometimes referred to as ‘head training,’ rendering the vine with a bush-like or shrub appearance. This process is used commonly in hot, dry climates, where the ground is not fertile. This bush shape makes the vine hardier, as it inhibits rapid evaporation. Contrary-wise, in humid environments this technique is not recommended as it causes an increased chance of rot. Please browse our shop for many of the fine wines available for sale.

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