The grape is noted for its distinctive aroma, very similar to that of Viognier, Gewurztraminer, and Petit Manseng, suggesting apricot and peach. The wine produced is unusually light, and generally high in acidity with alcohol levels of 11.5–12.5%. Its thick skins and large number of pips can cause residual bitterness.
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. It was presumably brought to Iberia by Cluny monks in the twelfth century. Its name "Alba-Riño" means "the white [wine] from the Rhine"and it has locally been 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.