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Muscat of Alexandria is a white wine grape that is a member of the Muscat family of Vitis vinifera. It is considered an "ancient vine", and wine experts believe it is one of the oldest genetically unmodified vines still in existence. [1]. While today it is mostly cultivated as a table grape or for raisin production, it is still an important grape in the Australian and South African wine industry. It is also cultivated very heavily on the island of Samos, in the North Eastern Aegean region of Greece, and reputedly Cleopatra drank muscat wine from there. It is also thought to rival the French Beaume de Venise in its most refined form. In Italy wine is made from the grape on the island of Pantelleria, and in Spain, the grape is used for wine around Málaga, Alicante, Valencia, and the Canary Islands. The grape originated in North Africa, and the name is probably derived from its association with Ancient Egyptians who used the grape for wine making. [1]

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Viticulture

The vine thrives in a hot climate and is particularly sensitive to the cold during its flowering season. [1]

Wine characteristics

Wine made from Muscat of Alexandria tends to be sweet with an earthy taste. It is not particularly aromatic. In Málaga the grape is often blended with Pedro Ximénez to create a strong wine that varies in color from gold to dark black. In Australia, the grape is often used in the production of cream sherry. [1] In Portugal, Vinho Moscatel (Moscatel Wine) is a sweet wine widely produced in the Setúbal Peninsula region, just south of Lisbon, as well as in Favaios, Alijó and other areas of the Portuguese Douro, in northern Portugal.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d J. Robinson Vines Grapes & Wines pg 185 Mitchell Beazley 1986 ISBN 1-85732-999-6
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