WineHandpicked by IWSC

Seven award-winning Spanish white wines

From white Riojas to Albariños, discover the seven top Spanish white wines to win big at the IWSC 2023

Words by IWSC Judges

Handpicked by IWSC
Verdejo grapes basking in the Spanish sun in the country's Rueda winemaking region

In a country where red wine is generally king, Spanish white wine is fighting back. After decades of sitting in the shadows, whites wines are now standing proud with their red counterparts.

There’s a huge choice, too: from zingy, citrus-led Albariño from Galicia in the verdant north-west of the country, down to Rueda, which excels at the herbal Verdejo grape, and through to Viura (aka Macabeo), the mainstay of white Rioja. Each one is classy and characterful.

White Rioja is a curious beast. Bottles of the past were often aged in oak for much longer than necessary, creating an unbalanced wine that masked Viura’s floral and citrus notes. Today’s winemakers have found the sweet spot, producing aromatic bottles loaded with flavour.

A fine example of how good white Rioja can be is Rioja Vega, Colección Tempranillo Blanco 2022 , winner of an IWSC Silver this year. Hailed by the judges as having a backbone of tropical fruits and complex layers of flavour, it scored 90/100.

Pulpo a la Gallega: a Galician octopus dish that pairs particularly well with a crisp Albariño

The shining star of Spanish white wine, Albariño’s popularity is seemingly unstoppable – and another eye-catching Spanish white Silver winner was Bodegas Altos de Torona, Albariño 2022 from Galicia in the northwest of the country. It scored 91/100 and displayed those typical white peach aromas the grape variety is known amd loved for.

All of the best Spanish white wines in this year’s IWSC were tasted blind by an expert panel made up of judges with many years of experience. The panel was chaired by Dirceu Vianna Junior MW, assisted by a panel that included Wine Society buyer Pierre Mansour and Master Sommelier Matteo Montone.

Spanish white wines have simply never been better than they are today, with a host of attractive styles to choose from. Here is our pick of the best Spanish whites from this year’s IWSC.

Albariño vines growing in a pergola system in Spain's Rías Baixas region


We run a tightly structured, rigorous wine tasting process. That means that each wine sample is pre-poured into numbered glasses and assessed blindly by the judges. Most importantly, our IWSC wine judges are experts in their field, who work across all sectors of the wine industry. For evidence, see our full list of judges.


Only the best wines sampled receive a Gold or Silver award. For example, to win Gold, wines have to score between 95 and 100 points. Meanwhile, Silver wines range from 90 to 94 points. Click here to read more on our scoring system.

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