Albariño is a variety of white wine grape grown in Galicia (northwest Spain), Monção and Melgaço (northwest Portugal), where it is used to make varietal white wines. Albariño is the Galician name for the grape; in Portugal it is known as Alvarinho, and sometimes as Cainho Branco.
It presumably was brought to Iberia by Cluny monks in the twelfth century. Its name “Alba-Riño” means “the white [wine] from the Rhine” and it is locally thought to be a Riesling clone originating from the Alsace region of France, although earliest known records of Riesling as a grape variety date from the 15th, rather than the 12th, century. It is also theorized that the grape is a close relative of the French grape Petit Manseng.
It should not be confused with the Alvarinho Liláz grape of Madeira.