Malvasia Moscata

Seeing the name Malvasia can be confusing, it is not a single, unique grape variety but a welcoming family of grape vines, one that embraces those born both inside and outside the Malvasia family.

Malvasia Moscata is a unique variety, at the time of writing (2023) it was most abundant in California, where it was planted by Piemontese immigrants who strangely renamed it Malvasia Bianca. 
Happily, it was adopted by the great negociant, Randall Grahm, who created Ca’ del Solo Malvasia Bianca; a wine with wonderful purity and a whimsical dissent. 

Back in Piemonte, Malvasia Moscato had been all but wiped out by oidium (powdery mildew) in the C19th, and had retreated to its spiritual home under Monviso, where the local Pinerolese DOC left it to languish outside of their appellation. 

Fortunately, there remain passionate supporters of this grape variety; the best being Le Marie, who make a fresh, dry version, an orange edition, and a sweet, late harvest wine, all are excellent. 

Throughout Piemonte, the Malvasia Moscata vine has been replaced by the more hardy Moscato Bianco, both are aromatic varieties with distinct grape and orange flavours; Malvasia Moscata has a little more depth and is easy to distinguish as it has 7 lobes and much deeper indentations on the leaf than Moscato Bianco.

I am convinced that Malvasia Bianca in Puglia is (often) the same variety, Giustini make a frizzante wine called 'Jento' that is a lovely, lightly sparkling aromatic white. 
The journey of a vine south is unusual, generally immigration in Italy flows North.


Moscato Greco, Asti

Greco or Grec, Roero

Malvasia Bianco del Piemonte