Muscat Blanc a Petits Grains (Muscat Blanc)

This Muscat grape is thought to be the oldest known variety of Muscat and the one with the most concentrated flavors. Jancis Robinson calls it "the most noble sort of Muscat". The grape usually has small, yellow skinned berries but variations in color can run from pink to dark reddish-brown.

 

This grape is widely but not extensively grown and is said to produce the best Muscat wines. The vine is vigorous, spreading, and low yielding. Bunches of fruit are medium size, elongated and compact. The berries are smallish, usually round, transparent, but becoming opaque on maturity. The flesh is firm and very sweet with the juice having the characteristic flavor of musk.

 

The grape is used to make dry table wines, frothy sparkling wines and many different kinds of sweet dessert wines. It is also used in the creation of innumerable blended wines, as a major component or a ‘bit player".

 

In France, this grape is used in six appellations d'origine controlee (AOC) of a type known as Vin Doux Naturel (VDN). There are four AOCs in Languedoc: Muscat de Lunel, Muscat de Cotes du Mireval, Muscat Frontignan and St-Jean de Minervois. The VDN of the Cotes du Rhone is Muscat de Beaumes de Venise and the VDN of Roussillon is Muscat de Rivesaltes. In northern Rhone, the grape is blended with the Clairette grape to make Clairette de Die wines. Muscat de Cap Corse is made in the northern part of Corsica. Alsace produces luscious dry Muscats.

 

Greece has long been famous for its Muscats, especially in Samos and Patras.

 

In Italy the most famous Muscat a Petits Grains wine is Asti or Moscato d'Asti, a low alcohol sparkling wine from Piedmont. Other regions in Italy use the grape to produce a variety of sweet fortified dessert wines

 

In Australia, the grape makes dense, sticky, fortified, barrel aged wines in the Rutherglen region. (Liqueur Muscats)

 

South Africa is famous for Constantia wine, made in the district of Constantia, south of Cape Town

 

In Hungary Muscat Blanc is used as a blend in its famous Tokay wines

 

The United States, especially California, produces light table wines, sparkling wines, and a spectrum of sweet dessert wines.