Stimulating and aromatic white wines are an important priority for the region. The variety that John Niven likes the most is the Albariño. SLO Coast has so many similarities to the home of the variety in Galicia, Spain that its potential in the region is undeniable.
One of the hallmarks of the Galician albariño, which comes mostly from the terraced hillsides of the Rias Baixas region in green Spain and borders the Atlantic Ocean, is brackish salinity (via wine researcher). Breezes blow in from the ocean, leaving a salty mist in the air throughout the region, a maritime climate similar to that of the SLO coast.
Producers in the warmer parts of the state of California work with the Albariño grape to produce wines with notes of tropical fruit and fresh flowers. However, the tangy, mineral freshness with salinity that SLO Coast brings is unique to the region.
The Nivens family first became interested in the varietal after founding Tangent Wines in the mid-2000s. Niven says, “Of all the lesser-known white wines, I think Albariño has stood out as a great option. for white wine lovers. Albariño tangent shows tropical guava, tangerine, crushed stone and tangy salinity without using oak in fermentation or aging, allowing the purity of the fruit to shine. Stephen Ross Albariñoan SLO wine from the Spanish Springs vineyard (just by the ocean), lends a flinty, mineral intensity to its vintage, blending equatorial and stone fruit flavors with spicy citrus.