The white grape variety originates from Portugal. It is one of the numerous mostly unrelated varieties with name part Malvasia (see there in detail). Synonyms grouped alphabetically by country are Boal de Graciosa, Terrantez do Pico (Azores, Portugal); Boal, Boal da Madeira (Madeira, Portugal); Arinto Cachudo, Arinto do Dão, Arinto du Dão, Arinto Galego, Assario, Assario Branco, Boal Branco, Boal Cachudo, Boal Cachudo do Ribatejo, Boal da Graciosa, Cachudo, False Clairette, Galego, Lagrima Blanc, Malvasia Galega (Portugal); Gual (Canary Islands - Spain); Terrantes do Pico, Torrontés (Spain).
Especially the often used synonym Boal is a cause of frequent confusion. Despite seemingly suggestive synonyms or morphological similarities, it should not be confused with the varieties Arinto, Dona Branca, Folgasão, Rabigato, Ratinho (cross Malvasia Fina x Síria), Sémillon, Síria or Terrantez do Pico. According to DNA analyses carried out most recently in 2020, it comes from a presumably natural cross between Hebén x Alfrocheiro. However, this is based on only 20 DNA markers (see molecular genetics). The pink-berry Malvasia Fina Roxa is a colour mutation. Malvasia Fina is a parent of the varieties Almafre, Boal Espinho, Cercial and Vital, which were created by presumably natural crossing.