The most popular light-skinned grape of northen Spain. High in production, the Macabeo takes well to hot and dry regions. It also buds late which makes it less likely to be harmed by frost. Together with the varietals Parellada and Xarel-lo it is used in the production of the sparkling Spanish wine Cava. Wines from the Macabeo are dry, medium in acidity, and have notes of delicate wildflowers and bitter almonds. Macabeo is best consumed young.
Besides Cava the best examples of Macabeo come from Rioja, where it is known as Viura, and now makes up 90% of white wine production in that area. It can also be found in large quantities in southern France, particularly in the Languedoc area where it is usually blended with Grenache Blanc.