The xarel·lo is a white vine variety, native to the Penedès, the result of a cross between the Andalusian hebén variety and the French Faux Brustiano variety. Her DNA profile suggests that xarel·lo may be related to the Macabeu, sharing both parents. According to the philologist Fava i Agut, the name xarel·lo comes from the Italian dialectal variant sciarello, meaning claret (light), a term used to refer to red wines with little color. It is, together with macabeu and parellada, one of the three traditional varieties used to make cava.

It is one of the main varieties for the DO Alella, DO Binissalem, DO Costers del Segre, DO Penedès and DO Tarragona, but is grown almost throughout Catalonia and Mallorca. According to the RVC Wine Register of Catalonia (12/09/2017), the cultivated area in Catalonia is 9,843 ha, most in the Penedès (7,500 ha).