An Introduction to Gelber Muskateller Wine

The Muscat family is ancient, wide and diverse. And hierarchical – there are many inferior variations, and some that just perform better in different far flung locations. At the top of the heap is the pale, small-berried version Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains, known as Gelber Muskateller in German. It has been grown in Germany since at least the 12th century but would be a remarkable labour of love to do so as, being in origin a Mediterranean grape, it is difficult to ripen it there and its tendency to bud early makes it susceptible to spring frosts. Nevertheless there are small plots of it, mostly in Baden and the Pfalz. Muscat Blanc APG is quite difficult to grow but does well in warmer, dryer conditions like the Mediterranean or Australia. It is grown globally and often used as a blending grape to infuse modest and indistinct dry whites with a little grapey or orange blossom perfume. It finds its peak however as one of the most important dessert wine grapes in the world as it is quite receptive to botrytis and makes concentrated, almost syrupy sweet wines redolent of orange marmalade and apricot spun often with aromas of chamomile and linden.

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