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Wine By Grape Variety | Malvasia (Malmsey)

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Malvasia is an ancient family of Mediterranean grapes that includes a diverse collection of noble varieties known as Malvasia, Malvoisie or Malmsey. These grapes are capable of producing a range of wine styles and colours in red and white, dry, sparkling and sweet styles. In the 21st Century, Malvasia is produced in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Croatia, Slovenia and the United States.

Most famously, Malmsey wine is made from Malvasia on the Portuguese island of Madeira in the North Atlantic. Malmsey is a varietal expression of Malvasia that is heated and oxidized after fermentation to create a unique style of wine, characterised by its dark colouring (depending on the type of Malvasia used) and rich, ripe and nutty flavours.

Malvasia is grown all over Italy under many names and styles. Often paired with Trebbiano, Malvasia blends make up a significant proportion of inexpensive table wines made on the mainland. The Friuli-Venezia-Giulia DOCs of Collio and Isonzo are regarded as the best varietal examples of dry Malvasia, showing light stone fruit flavours and a pronounced floral bouquet.

 

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