The red grape variety comes from Portugal. Synonyms are Alvarelho, Allvarellao, Avarilhão, Brancelhão, Brancelho, Locaia, Pilongo, Pirruivo, Serradelo, Serradillo, Uva Gallega, Varancelha, Verancelha(Portugal); Albarello, Alvarello, Alvarello Gallego, Alvarelo, Brancellao, Brancellao Tinto, Brancello, Brencellao, Broncellao(Spain). According to DNA analyses carried out in 1999, it is very closely related to the variety Sercial (Esgana Cão); however, the exact parentage (parenthood is unknown. A colour mutation with white berries is Brancellao Blanco. However, the Spanish variety Planta Nova with the synonym Alvarelhão Branco is an independent grape variety. The early ripening vine is susceptible to powdery mildew. Until the 1970s it was an important variety for port wine in the Douro area and red wines in the Dão area, and to a lesser extent in the Vinho Verde area. In Portugal, it occupies a total of 159 hectares. In Spain, it is grown on 21 hectares in the Rías Baixas area. There are also small populations in California (Central Valley) and Australia (Yarra Valley). In 2010, a total of 180 hectares of vineyards were designated (Kym Anderson).
Source: Wine Grapes / J. Robinson, J. Harding, J. Vouillamoz / Penguin Books Ltd. 2012
Pictures: Ursula Brühl, Doris Schneider, Julius Kühn Institute (JKI)