Classic aromas of Palomino are: Lime, Kiwifruit, Lemon and Lime
Palomino (Fino) is the white grape varietal behind the fantastic fortified wines of Sherry produced in the south of Spain. Palomino has a long, and rich, history in the south of Spain. It comes from the Andalucia region and is believed to have been named after Fernan Yanez Palomino – a prominent knight from Andalucia around the 13th century.
Palomino is the most important grape varietal allowed in Sherry making, the other two are reserved for sweeter styles: Pedro Ximinez and Moscatel. There is a whopping 13,296ha of Palomino across Spain with roughly 90% in Andalucia and reserved for either Sherry or Brandy production. Though it is also planted in the northwest in Galicia and Rueda, here it is used as a blending grape to give body to blends.
There are some mild plantings of Palomino outside of Spain, with the most in Portugal and smaller outlets still in Cyprus, California and Australia. In all of these places it is also used as a base wine for fortified wines akin to Spain’s Sherry.
As a grape Palomino is incredibly dull and lacking in flavour. The best single varietal wines will hold aromas of kiwifruit, green melon and lime juice – at a push. But this neutrality is only a benefit for the wine world as it becomes a canvas for all the complexity that comes about in the Sherry making process. In Fino Sherries it gives flavours of citrus and freshly baked bread, whereas in Amontillado or Olorosso styles it gives chocolate and spices.