OTHER NAMES: cheiro (Spain-Galicia), marqués (Spain-Galicia), loureira blanca (Spain).
The origin of this variety in unknown. It has been cultivated since ancient times and is appreciated for its richness in original aromas and flavours, reminiscent of bay leaf, from which it takes its name, and which endow it with its great personality. It is the fourth white grape in the Rías Baixas area and the fifth in the Ribeiro area, with a minority presence in the Monterrei and Ribeira Sacra areas.
Its clusters are medium to large, yellowish green in colour, with spherical grapes. It obtains good levels of production on land that is not excessively dry, its quantitative potential decreases as it rises up hillsides. This variety is characterised by its intense, complex and original aromatic potential, with aromas of floral expression, citrus and fresh aromatic herbs.
The wines of this variety are somewhat imbalanced with a moderate alcohol level (10-11 degrees) and a strong acidic crispness, owing to which they are not suitable for single-varietal wines. It is usually blended in small amounts (5-10%) complementing better structured varieties to provide delicacy, elegance, lightness and freshness, with penetrating aromas reminiscent of autumn foliage. In the O Rosal sub-area, it is often used in multi-varietal wines which have the albariño grape as the base.