More About Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains

Almost certainly the oldest known wine grape varietal, Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains has a noble history. It was established in Gaul by the Romans, and may even have been brought to Marseilles by the Greeks before that. From the south of France, it spread throughout the Mediterranean, as well as north into Alsace and Germany. Currently, it is grown almost everywhere in Europe, including Russia, Hungary, the Crimean Peninsula, and Greece (where it is one of the country’s principle grapes). Its berries, as the name suggests, are small and produce wines with elegantly floral aromatics. In the southern Rhône the grape is often blended with Clairette to make the sparkling Clairette de Die, and vinified alone to make the sweet Beaumes-de-Venise wines. California does not have much planted, but it can be found in the Central Valley and in Paso Robles.