Anybody who has enjoyed a bunch of Moscatel grapes will recognize its wine without difficulty. The taste is the only point in common among this extensive family of grapes. Some of them are red, others reddish, and others white. The wines they produce are therefore varied, and range from sparkling whites to rich, generous, dense wines from Australia or the Spanish Mediterranean.
Moscatel may well be the oldest of all the vines, possibly even the ancestor of all the other forms. It is impossible to prove this hypothesis, but we know that Moscatel, or something similar, was grown in ancient Greece, and that one of the vines described by the author Pliny was Moscatel. Nowadays it is still grown in Greece and in her ancient colonies, from the Crimea to Marseille.
The Moscatel family has at least 200 members. Some are superior to others, and the white Moscatel with small grapes is generally considered the best. This variety prefers very warm climates, where the wine sweetens naturally. It is found in Italy and Spain, as well as Greece, Australia and South Africa. Muscat Ottonel, a hybrid created in the 19th century, is grown in the centre of Europe, from Alsace to Rumania, including Austria and Hungary.
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