What is Parellada and where is it found?
Parellada is a white grape, originally from Valencia but popular too in Catalunya where, alongside Xarel-lo and Macabeo, it is best known as one of the three core grapes used to make Cava. The name comes from the Catalan word parell, which means a "couple" because the grape bunches are all quite homogenous and one grape looks very similar to the next.
It's quite hard to find single varietal examples of Parellada – ie wines made just from Parellada and no other grapes - although some more boutique Catalan producers are beginning to experiment a bit. In Catalunya too, you might also find its more pink-hued mutation, Parellada Montonegra.
Parellada's main characteristics
In the vineyard, Parellada was traditionally a bit of a workhorse, ripening quite late which suits the Mediterranean climate and giving quite high yields. Bunches tend to be quite large and compact, with thickish skin which is a very characteristic golden colour.
What does Parellada taste like?
Wines made from Parellada tend to be quite pale in colour, light, fresh and aromatic on the palate with floral and white fruit notes, and they are appreciated for their low alcohol and a decent acidity.
Where can I try some Parellada?
The easiest way to try Parellada is to grab a bottle of Cava. Parellada is appreciated by Cava producers because it adds freshness and finesse to the wine (whereas Xarel-lo, for example, adds body). The Grimau Brut Cava from the Grimau winery in Penedés (Catalunya) is made using the methode traditionelle with secondary fermentation in the bottle. The wine then spends a minimum of 15 months ageing in the bottle before going on sale. It’s bright and clear with delicate steady bubbles and is a very aromatic cava with a strong fruit profile. Smooth and tasty on the palate, it has well-balanced acidity and delicious sweetness.