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Moscatel: the oldest variety of grapes in the world

There are six main varieties of Muscat wine that come from the oldest grape variety in the world, of which there are more than 200 derivatives. The colors of the grapes range from white to almost black and they all have a very sweet aroma. This is one of the most commonly grown grapes in the world with wineries in many different countries producing wine from such vines.

The Muscat wine varieties are:

?? Moscatel Blanc à Petit Grains. This has several different names depending on the country in which it is produced. It has the most sparkling flavors. You can recognize it in the name Spumante.

?? Moscato Giallo. This variety of wine is a colored version of Muscat Blanc à Petit Grains. It is also known by names like Goldmuskateller and Moscato Rosa.

?? Muscat Hamburg. This is the name of the grape that is grown in Italy and Australia and is used to make red wines such as Malbec that are consumed in Eastern European countries.

?? Muscat of Alexandria. This variety of grape is grown to produce liqueurs and sherry. The grapes have a very low acidity level and a high sugar content, which translates into a lower quality of the wine.

?? Muscat Ottonel. This grape thrives in colder climates and is used primarily in the production of dessert wines.

?? Muscat orange. This muscat wine has a distinctive orange flavor. It is used primarily in California wineries to produce dessert wines.

Due to the many different varieties of muscat grapes, the flavors, aromas and color of the wine vary from region to region. Even the names of the grapes do not adequately describe their color, as Muscat Blanc grapes are not always white. Dry, light, heavy and sweet wines are obtained depending on the type of grape and the wine-making process used.

Muscat grapes are grown primarily in temperate climates such as California, Australia, France, Italy, Spain, and Greece. They are harvested very late in the growing season, which gives them a very sweet taste.

The table wines produced in Chile come from Moscatel [http://www.wineaccess.com/wine/grape/Muscat] grapes and to a lesser extent in California and Italy. Muscat Ottonel is the grape of choice for wineries in the Finger Lake Wine District in upstate New York. In Italy, it is mainly used to produce sparkling wines, such as Asti Spumante. In the process of making this wine, the grapes are stored in cold tanks after being crushed.

The juice and crushed grapes are heated and left to ferment when needed. The product is then sealed in large tanks that help trap carbon dioxide in the wine. Particular attention is paid to the fermentation process so that it stops once the wine reaches the proper levels of sugar and alcohol. At this point it is cooled, bottled and left to age in the bottle.

Low-cost bulk Muscat wines in the United States come from Orange Muscat and Black Muscat grapes grown by a single winery in California’s Stanislaus County. Napa Valley wineries are known for Muscat de Beaulieu, which is a fortified wine. This wine is also used as a blend in the making of Conundrum wine and in the ice wine called Vin de Glaciere.


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