Canary Islands Grapes

“White Barolo”Timorasso. Tortona. Derthona. Colli Tortonesi.Confused? Read on…

This page is intended as a reference to the main grapes found across the Canary Islands and accompanies the main Canary Islands page on this website.
I have included only the most common / interesting synonyms that the reader may come across or recognise.

For more thorough information on the grapes, please consult the following books (links in the main Canary Islands overview page on this site):

  • “About Canary Wines” (Chapter 4 pages 60-91)
  • Santo Bains’ “Epic Canary Wines” (p27 for an index of the grapes covered)
  • The website of each PDO also contains an overview on each grape


Note that the following indicate White / Red grapes (“o” being masculine and “a” being feminine depending on the ending of the grape name) :

White :

Alibillo (Latin),  Blanca/o,  Branca/o

Red :

Negra/o,  Tinta/o

Confusing grape names

  • Tintilla” is a grape name that refers to a variety of different, unrelated grapes. These are listed below under “Tintilla”. It is worth knowing that it is most commonly used in Canary Islands to refer to Castellana Negra.
Vijariego / Verijadiego / Diego
  • Vijariego is used in NW Tenerife to refer to Verijadiego which is unrelated to Vijariego or Diego.
  • Vijariego Blanco – has 14 different names including Bujariego, Vijariega Blanca, Vijariego, Vijiriego
  • Vijariego Negro is a different grape entirely and is actually Sumoll from Catalonia. (they do however share a parent)


Although mention is made to the ageability of some grapes, the actual ageability of any given wine will depend on the producer and whether the wine was intended to drink early or age. I recommend checking with the producer or wine merchant when purchasing.

The Grapes

Official Name : 

The official scientific name for the grape (in brackets are other synonyms you may come across).

Local : 

Indicates if this is a grape that is found only on the Canary Islands.

Origin : 

Country of origin and / or parentage of the grape where known (Hében was quite prolific!).

(click on any column heading to sort by that field)

ColourGrapeOfficial NameLocalOriginOverview
WhiteAlbillo Criollo(aka Albillo Chriolle, Albillo Grano Menudo)YesCrossing of Listán Blanco + VerdelloYoung, fresh & aromatic.

Peach, tropical, spice, minerals
Used in blends for its acidity.
Used for "Tea Wine" in La Palma
WhiteAlbillo Monte LentiscalYes
WhiteBaboso BlancoBastardo Blanco / Samarrinho
(aka Budelho, Pedro Ximenez Canario)
white variation of Trousseau NoirElegant, fresh & mineral.

Citrus, honey, white fruit.
Intese / fresh acidity.
RedBaboso NegroAlfrocheiroAlfocheiro from Portugal (which is a crossing of Austrian Savagnin Blanc + Traminer)
The Amarone of the Canary Islands.

Dark fruit, black berries, floral.
Fine tannins and delicate minerals
(Look out for Conatvs 2023 Baboso Negro from Fuerteventura - claimed to be the most promising of any on the islands)
RedBastardo NegroTrousseau Noir
(aka Verdejo Negro)
Robust & structured with light colour.
Can age.
RedBermajuela RosadaYes
WhiteBermejuelasee MarmajueloYes
RedBienmesabe TintoYes
WhiteBrevalBebaSpanish Beba / HebénPale, low alcohol, usually blended
RedBreval NegroYes
WhiteBujariego (La Plama)Vijariego Blanco - see Vijariego
WhiteBurra VolcanicaYes
WhiteBurrablancaAirénSpain. Descendent of HebénSimple, low acid & colour.
Drought resistant. Mainly used in blends
RedCastellana Negra / Tintilla CastellanaTinta CãoPortugalThe next big thing after Baboso Negro

Bramble fruit with High acidity alcohol and tannins.
Aged version can be meaty / chocolate like a New World Cab Sauv
Single varietal bottles are rare by necessity high quality. Allow to age 5 years before drinking to soften.

Often referred to as Tintilla (see below under Tintilla)
Vijariego Blanco - see VijariegoLanzarote's name for Vijariego Blanco
WhiteForastera BlancaAlbillo Forastero
(aka Forastera Gomera)
YesOffspring of Listan Blanco + VerdelloYoung drinking wines. Quite neutral with perhaps floral or stone fruit.

Unique to La Gomera (although some vines have been sneaked into neighbouring islands)
RedForastera NegroYesApparently not officially recognised by La Gomera DO, and sometimes labelled as Listán Negro
WhiteGualMalvasía Fina
(aka Bual, Uval, Boal + 21 other synonyms)
YesPortugal's Malvasía Fina (a crossing of Alfrochiero & Hebén)Quality white & sweet wines.
Weighty & buttery with wax, honey,
High acid and can age well without oxidation.
RedHuevo de GalloYes
WhiteListán BlancoPalomino Fino
(141 synonyms in total)
SpainNeutral and expressive of terroir.
Fennel, cut grass, mineral / saline.

The most cultivated grape in the Canaries.
Also parent to LN, Albillo Criollo & Forastera Blanca
RedListán NegroListán NegroYesA crossing of Listán Blanco (Palomino Fino ) + Negramoll (Mollar Cano)Exclusive to Canary Islands and the most widely grown red grape.

Spicy volcanic minerals & terroir expressive.

Red fruit, peppery (like a mineral Cabernet Franc). Soft tannins (like Gamay)
Young & fruity, or serious ageworthy (where it displays Syrah-like meatiness)

If thin and rustic, it will be blended with Negramoll and Castellana Negra.
RedListan Prieto(aka País, Criolla, Mission +
43 Synonyms)
Red fruit with grippy tannins.

The first grape to be to the New World (c. 1540)
RedListán Rosado (Listán negro mutation)YesPalomino Fino mutation
WhiteMalvasía AromáticaMalvasía Dubrovacka
(aka Malvasía de Sitges + 70 other synonyms)
Eastern MediteranneanAromatic with fresh acidity.
Stone fruits, floral and honey character.
RedMalvasia PurpuraYes
RedMalvasía RosadaMalvasía Dubrovacka RosadaYesMalvasía Dubrovacka mutationAromatic red fruit & floral.
Used to make rosé.
WhiteMalvasía Volcanica(aka Malvasía de Lanzarote, Málaga (in Tenerife) + 4 other synonyms)YesCrossing of Malvasía Aromática + MarmajueloLanzarote's flagship grape.

Neutral / saline.
Some floral, citrus or stone fruit.
Dry to sweet wines
(aka Bermejuela Blanca + 6 other synonyms)
Spain (Vermilion)
A crossing of Vermejuala + Bermebjuela Rosada (el H) = ancestor)
Aromatic & tropical.

Bright acidity, high alcohol.
Only grows well in specific pockets of N Tenerife & El Hierrow below 300m
RedMollar Cano Rosado (mutation of Mollar Cano)Yes
WhiteMoscatel de AlejandríaMuscat of Alexandria
(aka Moscatel + 285 other names)
Crossing of Heptaliko + Moscatel à Petits Grains
Aromatic & floral (rose water, orange blossom, lychee)

One of the oldest grape varieties in existance
Mainly used for dessert wines in Canary Islands
RedNegramollMollar Cano
(aka Molata, Tinta Negra Mole + 33 other synonyms)
SpainPinot Noir / Nebbiolo of the Canaries
Can preserve the terroir minerality

Light & fruity (red berries) when young.
Complex & savoury (coffee, leather) if aged

Grown mostly on La Palma & western islands
RedNegramoll Rosada(aka Mulata : "mixed race")Multicoloured grapes on same vine / bunches
Not to be confused with the unnamed pink Negramoll
Pedro XiménezMost likely Spain (Hében is one of its parents)High alcohol, low acid.
Raisin / sultana flavours.
Used in dessert wines.
WhiteSabroSabroYesDescendent of Spain's Hebén + unkonwn grapeUsed in blends for its vibrant acidity or with Malvasia to add body.
Starting to appear as single varietal wines.
Almost exclusive to La Palma
Often found in natural sweet wines.
RedTintillaTintillaOfficially "Tintilla" refers to 4 varieties: Garnacha Tinta, Graciano, Monastrell & Vinaho.
In the Canary Islands it refers to a lot of similar varieties: Baboso Negro (Alfrocheiro), Bastardo Negro, Maturana Tinta (Trousseau Noir), Garnacha Tinta, Castellana Tinta, Tintilla Castellana (Tinta Cao)

This is quite confusing and as such, no further description is offered here.
RedTintilla (Castellana Negra)Tinta CãoGenetically equiv to Castellana Negra, but GC argue it's different.Elegant, structured & ageworthy.

Black fruits, chocolate and liquorice.
Not unlike Graciano, although no genetic link
WhiteTorrontésTorrontésRefers to 5 different varieties:
Torrontés, Alarije, Bical, Malvasía Fina (Gual), Fernau Pires)
WhiteTorrontés VolcánicoYes
WhiteVerdelloVerdelho BrancoVerdello is the name for 5 different varieites (Beba, Verdone Bianco, Verdicchio Bianco, Gouveio, Verdelho Branco). In the Canaries it refers to the latter.

High quality, alcohol and acidity.

Citrus & tropical character.
WhiteVerdello de El HierroYesCrossing of Alfrochiero (Baboso Negro) & VerijadiegoA minor variety from El Hierro with distinctive herbaceous notes.
(aka Vijariego/a in NW Tenerife)
Yes(unknown? El Hierro?)Aromatic, spicy, complex.

Fruity & floral.
Local from El Hierro.
Good for sweet wines
(Don't mistake with Vijariego Blanco )
RedVerijadiego NegroYes
WhiteVijariego BlancoVijariego Blanco
(aka Bujariego (in La Palma), Vijariega/o, Vijiriega/o + 14 others))
An offspring of Hében
Acidic. Apple/citrus.
Sometimes herbacious / mineral.
RedVijariego NegroSumoll
(aka Vijariego Tinto/Vijariega Negra / Verijadiego Negro)
Spain (Catalunia)
An offspring of Hebén
Fresh, red fruit & mineral.
Can be oak aged for more complex, ageworthy wines.

Different to Vijariego Blanco, although they share the same parent Hében
RedAlmuñecoListán Prieto / Listán NegroLocal name in La Palma for either Listán Priet
o or Listán Negro
WhiteMalvasía BrisadaSee Malvasía AromáticaLocal name in La Palma for Malvasía Aromática