Muscat wine grape

There are actually a family of Muscat grape varieties, along with several others that have Muscat in their names because they taste similar but aren't actually related.  But Muscat on its own means this one, the daddy, Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains (“Small-Berried White Muscat”).
An ancient variety, it really is the daddy (or granddaddy) of the other Muscats, with half a dozen recognised offspring and more than a dozen 2nd- or 3rd-generation progeny.  It’s first mentioned at the start of the 12th Century but is likely to be much older.  Like Pinot and Traminer, other ancient ‘founder’ varieties, it has developed pink, red and black colour mutations as well as the original white form.
Most experts think it originated in Greece, spreading from there to Italy and thence to the rest of the wine world.  However, all of its recognised children (save perhaps one) originated in Italy, suggesting that Italy may be its true birthplace.  It’s known under dozens of different names, including Moscato Bianco (Italy), Muscat de Frontignan (France, South Africa), Gelber Muskateller (Germany and Austria), Moscatel de Grano Menudo (Spain) and Moscatel Galego Branco (Portugal).
It is a very aromatic variety, producing wines that smell and taste grapey (surprisingly, wine very rarely tastes of grapes).  Its wines are often floral and spicy too.  Particularly suited to sweet wines, it is rarely made as a varietal dry wine (except in Alsace) although many dry white blends successfully include some to add interest to more neutral varieties.

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