The Xarel-lo varietal, Or is it Xarello or Xarel.lo?

Last Updated: May 20th, 2021

Have you tried the amazing wines from Xarel-lo grape variety? 

Or is it Xarello or Xarel.lo? How do you even pronounce it?

Recently I have been trying a lot of new (to Pull The Cork) wines and have stumbled across quite a few amphorae Xarel-lo’s. When I was uploading one to the site this week, I was at a crossroads with the spelling and this is what leads me to write this today.

The Catalans love confusing us, and I often get caught out, asking myself how on earth, why an earth!? For those of you that are like me and get confused on wording quite often, this explanatory blog will hopefully help you out.

But first things first..

How much do you know about this Spanish grape variety from Catalunya? 

This grape variety is valued as one of Spain’s finest white-wine varieties. It is a light-skin grape used to make various wine styles, but we associate it the most with the sparkling wine Cava – blended with other popular Spanish grape varieties Macabeo and Parellada. (Check out our post on Méthode Traditionelle, which is the wine producing technique commonly associated with organic champagne and sparkling wines but also a technique used to produce Cava).

The grape is rich in polyphenols and high in the antioxidant resveratrol, so we like it because it does not only intrigue our senses but also because it offers many health benefits. What we like the most is that Xarel-lo grape variety can produce wines with intense aromas and flavours and full of character. With an excellent balance of acids and sugar (learn more about sugar in wine), the grape produces one of those wines that will surprise you, such as Sicus Cru Mari Vermell 2012

Sicus Cru Mari Vermell 2012

How do you pronounce it? 

I have always spelt it Xarelo, but in the price list that I was taking the wine from it was spelt Xarel-lo – this was hugely confusing!! After some time speaking to a mate that is very good at Spanish, he told me that the Catalans do this quite often, so I set out to find the correct way of spelling the word!

  • Pronouncing the word is also a myth, In Catalan they say shah-RELL-lo; in Castilian, hah-RELL-lo; in English, zah-RELL-oh.

Apparently, the English though are to blame for the confusion, as we strip every word that is not in the English language down to make it easier for us all to pronounce. I’m not sure why the Xarel-lo or Xarel.lo spellings came about but the reasoning behind them was that the flying dot (.) isn’t standard on keyboards and apparently it would be easier for it to be a hyphen or full stop.

To finish it off, from now on I would write it as Xarel-lo, say it sha-rel-lo, and most importantly, drink it, plenty of it!

And here’s one to get you started >>

Sicus Cartoixa Brisat Xarel-lo 2017

Interested in exploring more? Browse our wine shop and explore Xarel-lo grape variety. Welcome to grab our wine subscription for special deals and offers for our premium natural wines. 🙂


One thought on “The Xarel-lo varietal, Or is it Xarello or Xarel.lo?

  1. Rachel says:

    Actually there’s a very good reason for the punt volat (flying full stop). The two l sounds are pronounced separately and without the · (on a mac shift+alt+9) they’d make a completely different sound, ll.
    In the Penedès the x is a ch, in the same way that chocolate in Catalan is spelt with an x: xocolata. You do also hear the sh sound but I’ve never used it.
    We sell lots of xarel·lo!

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