As the Croatian name Malvasia Istarska and Malvasia Istriana of Italy propose that the grape variety is likely to originate in Istra, which is the peninsula in north-west part of Croatia that used to belong in Italy.
At first, Malvasia Istriana was not recognized in Istria, the headland has been cultivating the grape variety for centuries.
For years, excellent Malvasia wines are rare, but after its independence; Istra decided to abide to the Yugoslav communist rule and agreed to prioritize quantity over quality in terms of private wine production.
After 1991, a new European leader was elected and offered natural beauty of the region. Malvasia Istriana was one of the crucial agitators of this change.
Winemakers positioned Malvasia Istriana as their leading white in the region. A lot of non-Yugoslav countries had deals about it specifically businessmen.
Because of this, Malvasia Istriana achieved its status enjoyed just like during the Venetian times where it was drunk in European royal palaces.
Unlike other regions, Istra exclusively focused on a single variety. Although it is also the home red Teran and some international grape varieties like Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc; Malvasia Istriana is truly its king.
Two years ago, Malvasia Istriana tried to take its first step to level up to international market. The wine producers began to export wines to United States, Europe and recently in London.
Wines of Malvasia Istriana impressed most wine drinkers. Critics gave it great scores and even one of the most famous wine consultant during his visit to Istria.
Malvasia Istriana is a late ripening grape variety, easy to grow and yields are definitely good. This grape variety is not prone to harmful diseases except for powdery mildew.
It is known to be adaptable in site, but is more recommended to produce better quality in lighter soils. Berries of Malvasia Istriana can carry out high sugar levels but generally moderate in terms of acidity
Malvasia Istriana has spread down to Croatia to Dalmatia and can be found in some old vineyards in Continental Croatia wherein it is considered as dominant.
Characteristics of Wine
Malvasia Istriana grapes are usually used in producing varietal wines. Their styles are enormously unique, full and powerful; reveals oaked, little spicy to rigid to zesty and refreshing characteristics.
Most wines have lightly honeyed taste with slightly green tone and known to be fresher than other varietal wines. Alcohol level of Malvasia wines is absolutely high with depth and complexity.
Editor-in-Chief and Wine Writer
Michael is an online enthusiast, with a lot of knowledge about online marketing. Traveling around the world to hunt for the perfect wine. Latest on Sicily, where Etna has a huge impact on the taste, which is strong with a bitter aftertaste for the youngest wines, but older wines are fantastic. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one the passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂