Malvasia di Candia Aromatica
Malvasia grape has a truly fascinating history, plunging its roots deep into the Mediterranean basin, which is home to about 20 varieties of Malvasia. In many cases, these varieties are not even genetically related, but they just share their name, as “Malvasia” is a word derived from “Monemvasia”, a trading port in Peloponnese where the Venetian Republic used to send wines from Crete to the rest of its territories. These wines used to be sweet, and they were made with a mix of dried grapes (now we would call it “blend”). This production technique was enough to call “Malvasia” all the wines that were produced in this way.
From the Middle Age until the 17th century, Malvasia used to be the most popular wine in Europe. In Venice the best wine “bars” were called malvasie, while nowadays the “calle della malvasia” (“Malvasia Street”) still exists. We can say that Malvasia had been the first case of international wine marketing!
Malvasia wine was so significant for the Venetian Republic that they even decided to increase its production, especially in Crete. In 1540 the island was occupied by the Turks, pushing Venetians to spread viticulture along its maritime trade route and thus carrying the Malvasia family all over the Mediterranean. That’s why there are so many different types of Malvasia.
According to a recent genetic research, Malvasia di Candia Aromatica is probably related to Malvasia Odorosissima di Parma, an ancient grape variety that is on the brink of extinction, which, in turn, has a genetic relationship with Moscato Bianco, the ancestor of many aromatic grapes. This research proves that Malvasia Aromatica di Candia does not have a Greek origin, but was born exactly here, in Emilia Romagna. In this case, we can really talk about a native grape variety!
As the name suggests, Malvasia di Candia Aromatica is the most aromatic grape among the Malvasias family. 80% of its production is on the Piacenza hills (the remaining 12% in the province of Reggio Emilia, 6% in Parma and 2% in Pavia). In the province of Piacenza, Malvasia di Candia Aromatica covers 660 hectares, and this surface has been decreasing in the past decades.Recently, many winegrowers in Piacenza have decided to boost the production of this grape, which is so versatile to produce dry or sweet sparkling and still wines. Our Malvasia di Candia Aromatica vines vary from 5 to 40 years of age and they grow on clay soil, typical of Tidone Valley. We produce 3 kinds of wines, made only with this variety: Travolgente – Colli Piacentini DOC Malvasia, dry and sparkling, il Baciamano – Colli Piacentini DOC Malvasia, aged in clay amphoras and Le Solane – Colli Piacentini DOC Vin Santo. Last but not least, in Mossi’s experimental vineyard you can also find Malvasia Rosa and Malvasia Grigia..