Variety of Tuscan origin, reported by Pier de Crescenzi (1805) as a "beautiful grape to be stored "; three hundred years later Soderini (1590) described the variety Canaiolo nero (black) and the grape coloured ‘Canaiola’, later called "Canaiolo" (Villifranchi, 1773). The Acerbi (1825) reports the "Canaiolo nero minuto". Morphological descriptions related to the different names (“Canaiolo rosso piccolo”, “Canaiolo cascolo” , “Canaiolo nero a raspo rosso”), however Tozzetti (1858) refers to “Canajolo”: “Canajolo Lastri: v. Vitis viniferae varietas”; “Canajolo nero grosso” Mich. Vitis parvo botro, acinis subrotundis, nigris, dulcibus Mich. Rar; “Canajolo nero piccolo” Mich. Vitis parvo botro, acinis subrotundis exiguis, nigris, dulcibus Mich. Fr. dulcibus.
In the province of Massa Carrara was identified a biotype, the "Merla", which is under technological improvement, with promising results (Scalabrelli et al., 2007; Torello-Marinoni et al., 2009).