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Parellada is one of the three principal grape varieties used to make Spain's most famous sparkling wine, Cava (the other two being Macabeo and Xarel.lo). The variety is native to the hills of Catalunya, and is grown almost nowhere else – of Spain's 20,000 acres of Parellada vines, just 5 percent are located outside Catalunya. The variety is no less specialised when it comes to wine styles; sparkling Cava accounts for more than 95 percent of the annual Parellada harvest.

To the classic Cava blend, Parellada brings aromas of blossom and green apple to the wine – ideal complements to the honeyed, grapefruit notes of Macabeo and the earthy flavours of Xarel.lo.

Parellada performs best at higher altitudes, where the growing season is both cooler and longer than in lower-lying areas. The fresher temperatures help to retain the acidity so vital in sparkling wine production, while the longer growing season allows time for full aromatic development.

A tiny amount of Parellada is used to make still wines. These can be either single varietals or blends. Popular blending partners for Parellada are Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.