Malvasia, a story … Venetian!
When we talk about Malvasia, we need a premise: only in Italy there is something like 18 officially recognized, which make Malvasia one of the most numerous families in the Italian wine scene. And yet, it is not always a matter of vines sharing the same genetic profile, and in the cauldron of Malvasie there are really all kinds of red and white berries (but even a pink berry!), Which produces a huge and composite variety of wines, red, white, dry, sweet, still and sparkling.
The popularity of Malvasia, as wine, and in purely historical terms, extends far beyond the borders of the Belpaese, and is closely linked to the importance of Venice as a commercial city: it is between the VIII and the XV century, in fact, that the Malvasia becomes a wine known, appreciated and loved everywhere, indeed, between the fourteenth and seventeenth century is undoubtedly the most popular wine of Old Europe. But to better understand the link with the city of the Lagoon, just think that a stone’s throw from Piazza San Marco is … Calle de la Malvasia (to be precise, it’s here). And that’s not all, because in Venice, once, the bars were called “malvasie”.
Even its most distant origins are linked, it seems, to a seaside resort: Monemvasia or Monemvaxia, a seaside town in the Peloponnese, founded in 588 and annexed, coincidentally, by the Republic of Venice, in 1419. Here they are, the origins of Malvasia, in the fundamental place for the cultivation and spread of the vine, Greece, so much so that one of the places where the Venetians decided to cultivate Malvasia in the XIII century, was the Island of Crete. But be careful, because looking for links between the Greek Malvasia of the time and the dozens of Italian Malvasie today is a useless undertaking: genetic research shows that there are no links, and that the varieties we now call Malvasia are probably native to the Belpaese, and so they have been called, for centuries, purely for commercial reasons.
The “Malvasia Bianca di Candia”
Among the 18 Malvasia clones registered in Italy, the one allowed to produce the Malvasia DOC wine of Colli Piacentini is Malvasia Bianca di Candia, and takes the name of Crete in Latin, Candia precisely, and is the progenitor of the most modern Garganega, and is today the most Malvasia variety planted in Italy, with its 8,637 hectares, important in Lazio.
In aromatic terms, considering that the variations in purity are nothing short of rare, we obtain wines with delicate aromas of white flowers and fresh citrus, with hints of green or yellow apple and hints of grass, light body and nice acidity.
Ampelographic characteristics of Malvasia Bianca di Candia
Leaf: large, pentagonal, five-lobed and sometimes three-lobed; an open or semi-closed lyre petiolar sinus, rather deep; side breasts superior to V, open or narrow, medium deep; lateral sinuses inferior to V, open, medium or shallow; top page glabrous, of green color; lower page of light green color, with arachnoid tomento; wavy flap, with smooth or slightly wrinkled upper page; revolved lobes, angles at their right or sharp tops; main ribs on the inner page of green color, slightly shaded pink towards the base, glabrous; regular teeth, in 1, 2 or 3 series, teeth of medium size, with straight margins, with a narrow base.
Bunch: large, semi-sparse, cylindrical-conical, often winged and pyramidal; peduncle of medium length and thickness, semi-woody.
Grape: medium-sized, round, regular cross-section; thin and thick skin of golden-yellow color, often with mottling or brown spots, poor pruinosity, not very evident navel; loose pulp with a simple or slightly aromatic flavor; pedicel of medium length and thickness, of green color; little noticeable, small and green circles; medium brush, yellowish in color.
Malvasia wines of our cellar
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