Discover the Diversity: A Guide to Portuguese Grape Varieties

By: Genevieve Mc Carthy / Last updated: April 11, 2024

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

The diversity of grape varieties in Portugal is truly remarkable, particularly when considering the relatively small area dedicated to vineyards. With over 250 native grape varieties and an increasing number of international ones being cultivated with great success, the country offers an almost infinite choice of varietals. This rich variety, combined with the unique terroir found throughout Portugal, contributes to the production of exceptional and increasingly impressive wines.

When exploring Portuguese wines, you will likely encounter a range of grape varieties, some of which have amusing names. Here, we have compiled a list of the main varieties that you may come across:

Portuguese Grape Varieties
Portuguese Grape Varieties


  • Alfrocheiro Preto: main grape in the Dao, rich in color
  • Alicante Bouschet: a cross between Petit Bouschet and Grenache, cultivated mainly in Alentejo. read more
  • Aragonês: see Tinta Roriz. read more
  • Alvarelhão: – Northwest of Portugal, mainly in the Douro Valley. It can also be found in Galicia (Spain)
  • Aragonez: the same grape as the Spanish Tempranillo
  • Baga: – Main grape used for wines in Bairrada appellation, also used in Alentejo and Ribatejo. High-quality grape. read more
  • Bastardo: – the funny named grape is grown in the Douro, early ripening. Used in Dao extensively. read more
  • Castelão Frances: – also see “Tricadeira Preta”. Called “Periquita” in the Setúbal Peninsula, from where it originates, and “Joao do Santarem” read more
  • Jaen – mainly grown in the Dão region, producing soft and velvety reds.
  • Moreto: widely grown blender grape all over Portugal, not used in single varietal wines
  • Moscatel Galego Roxo: related to the Moscatel Galego grape, used in the Setúbal Peninsula to produce small quantities of fortified wines
  • Mourisco: small plantings in the Douro
  • Ramisco: – Main grape in the Colares region, very tannic
  • Rufete: Usually found in blends from Douro and Dão
  • Tinta Caiada: produces wines with good acidity, intensely colored that are best drunk young. Mainly used in Alentejo.
  • Tinta Amarela: grown in the Douro, Setúbal Peninsula, Estremadura, and also Alentejo (where it is called Trincadeira Preta). read more
  • Tinta Barroca: ancient grape varietal, grown in the Douro for hundreds of years, one of the blender grapes for most ports. Interestingly this grape is being grown widely in South Africa. read more
  • Tinta Negra: the main grape from the island of Madeira, mainly used in fortified wines
  • Tinta Roriz: called Tempranillo in Spain; in Portugal, it is used widely in Port making and also in the production of still reds in the Alentejo where it is called ” Aragonês,” in Dao and the Douro for table wines. read more
  • Tinta Cão: a Douro grape is also used to make high-quality still red wines. read more
  • Touriga Francesa: one of the main grapes grown in the Douro (over 20% of all plantings), characterized by its powerful bouquet
  • Touriga Nacional: considered one of the best grapes in Portugal, a noble variety; one of the principal grapes grown in the Douro Valley for port wines and the Dao. read more
  • Trincadeira Preta: also called Tinta Amarela and Castelão Frances
  • Vinhão (Souzão Douro Valley): main grape of the Vinho Verde and Minho regions. read more


  • Antão Vaz: citrusy, an acidic grape used in Alentejo. read more
  • Alvarinho: grown in Northern Portugal and used for Vinho Verde, high quality. Some say it is related to the “Albariño” of Galicia, Spain.
  • Arinto de Bucelas: used in the Bucelas appellation for still and sparkling wines, also widely in the Alentejo (for delicious dry, lemony, fruity whites), Bairrada, Setúbal, and other regions. It’s one of the oldest Portuguese varietals. read more
  • Avesso: used in the Vinho Verde appellation, aromatic and acidic
  • Azal Branco: Second most planted grape in Minho after Loureiro
  • Bical (Borrado das Moscas): – mainly found in Bairrada and Dão, wines are aromatic and well structured. read more
  • Boal: there are five strains of this grape, the most famous being the Boal used in Madeira
  • Códega: historic Portuguese varietal, which produces good alcohol, low acidity, and high yields. Also called “Roupeiro.”
  • Encruzado:  high alcoholic white grape is seen frequently in the Dão. Good aging capabilities
  • Esgana Cão: colorfully translates as “Dog Strangler”! Also called “Sercial” in Madeira. Highly acidic white used as a blender grape all over Portugal
  • Fernão Pires: reminiscent of Muscat, this aromatic grape is used in the Douro, Setúbal, Alentejo, and other regions. Called “Maria Gomez” in Bairrada
  • Fonte Cal: a native of the northeast of Beiras region
  • Gouveio: is known for producing full-bodied, high-acidity wines with flavors of citrus, stone fruit, and mineral notes. read more
  • Loureiro: Originally from the Lima Valley, now widely cultivated throughout the Vinho Verde DOC. read more
  • Malvasia Fina: aromatic white used all over Portugal, including white port
  • Malvasia Real: high-yielding white, not as well regarded as Malvasia Fina
  • Moscatel de Setúbal: initially introduced by the Romans, it makes light summery wines.
  • Perrum: one of the main white grapes of the Alentejo and also the Algarve
  • Rabigato: “Ewe’s Tail” is a high-yielding grape grown nationwide. Also called “Rabo d´Ovelha.” read more
  • Roupeiro: Quality grape, honey-flavored grape when grown in the Alentejo (also called Codéga or Síria)
  • Sercial: the primary grape used in Madeira fortified wines
  • Trajadura: from the Vinho Verde region, makes low acidity and high alcoholic wines.
  • Verdelho: One of the noble white varietals of Madeira. Australia is growing this Portuguese varietal extensively.
  • Viosinho: lesser white of the Douro, used in white ports. read more


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Genevieve Mc Carthy

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2 thoughts on “Discover the Diversity: A Guide to Portuguese Grape Varieties

Guido Andriessays:

October 6, 2019 at 1:47 am

Would you please be so kind to provide me the full list of the 250 native Portugese uvas ? Thank you so much. Guido

josette debraggasays:

October 6, 2017 at 8:30 pm

What variety of grapes grow on the island of St. Maria Acores?

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