Grape Varieties - Airen
This is an ancient grape variety and one that is grown exclusively in La Mancha, that high central region of Spain.
I suspect that most wine drinkers would have never heard of Airen and most would be very surprised to learn that it is the most widely planted variety in the world, despite its limited distribution. This is due to the fact that it is planted in very low density in the vineyards where it grows, trained in low bushes.
Airen has – and requires – high tolerance to the extremes of weather in La Mancha: the fierce summer temperatures as well as the cold experienced at such heights.
Airen has a multitude of uses. It is exploited by the Spanish brandy producers and is also blended with Tempranillo (in this region called Cencibel) to produce an easy drinking, light red wine. But when vinified carefully it is capable of producing something, if not fine, then refreshing, clean and rather delicious.