Macabeo is traditionally blended with Xarel-lo and Parellada to make Cava, the best known sparkling wine of Spain. It is the main white grape of Rioja – where it is called Viura – and can produce oaked or unoaked, medium-bodied wines.
Macabeo is mildly acidic and resists oxidation. It is a high-yielding vine with large berries that have a low proportion of skin to pulp. Its tight bunches are prone to rot.
Two theories exist as to the origin of this variety, one is that it is from the Middle East and the other that it is from Aragón, in Spain.