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Malvasia Nera grapes

by | Nov 5, 2016

Malvasia is a dark-skinned grape variety belonging to Vitis Vinifera species. This variety of grape is used for making red table wine, dessert wine, and fortified wines.

Malvasia Nera

Malvasia Nera is planted in many parts of Italy like; Sicily, Giulia, Friuli-Venezia and Sardinia. Malvasia Nera wines are used for blending because of its strong aroma and dark color.

Once Malvasia Nera was popularly planted in Tuscany, but now it is replaced by other grape variety Cabernet Sauvignon. Malvasia nera comes from Negroamaro and Malvasia Bianca Lunga, variety of grapes.

Malvasia Nera belong to a large family of Malvasia predominantly producing white wines, in this family of grapes Malvasia nera variety is one among the very few that produces red wines.

Wine grape varieties

Umbria is another winemaking region in Italy that produces Malvasia nera. The Piedmont region is the only winemaking region where Malvasia Nera is used for making varietal wines.

Today only about 100 hectares of land in Italy are used for planting Malvasia nera grapes variety.Malvasia di Castelnuovo DonBosco and Malvasia di Casorzo are the two dessert red wines which is produced from Malvasia nera grapes.

Other parts of the world where this grape variety is grown to some extent are Slovenia, Croatia, and Canary Island.

History of Malvasia Nera grapes

Malvasia Nera grapes are believed to be very ancient grape variety from Greek.

This grape variety was introduced in Italy when Venetian merchants brought vines of Malvasia from the Greece.

The origin of the name Malvasia is still under speculation.

Some believe that it derives its name from Monemvasia, an ancient fort on the coast of Laconia and according to another theory; this grape derive its name from the district of Malevizi on the island of Crete, Greece.

In the year 1970 and 1980, Malvasia Nera was blended with Sangiovese of Tuscany. In the 19th and 20th century the desert wines made from Malvasia Nera became very popular in Italy and considered as one of the finest wines in Italy.

After World War II, there was a vast decline in the consumption of wines made from this grape variety and it affected the plantation of Malvasia Nera grapes hugely.

Viticulture and winemaking of Malvasia nera grapes

The plantation of Malvasia Nera grapes demand dry climate and should be grown on slopes or drained terrains. To protect the grape in its initial period from rot or mildew the vineyard should be damp free.

The vines grow strong and vigorous; the berries are pinkish in color and are round in shape. Malvasia Nera tend to make pale, yellow and pinkish color of wines. These grape varieties produce deep color, strong aroma and residual sugar.

Characteristics of Malvasia nera wines

A different variety of red wines is produced from Malvasia nera grapes. Dry, sparkling and sweet wines are popularly made in Italy from this variety of grape.

Previously these wines were made only for blending purposes, but with time the commercialization of varietal wines increased and so is its production. The Malvasia Nera wine has a strong aroma of chocolate and dried cherries.

These wines have a medium level of acidity and give out residual sugar. Some of the common wines that you can get which are made from Malvasia Nera grapes are; Fracchia Antichi Giochi Piemontese Voulet Malvasia di Casorzo, Dezzani Malvasia di Castelnuovo Don Bosco, Cantina Sociale di Casorzo Dolce and much more.

The alcohol content in these wines is low as compared to other wines. The alcohol content in Malvasia Nera wines is about 5.5% by volume. The wine made from this grape variety is generally soft in texture and has a flavor of cocoa, dry cherry and fruits.

They taste bitter and earthly with a chocolate and coffee flavor. They are fresh and sweet. These wines are good to age.

Food pairing with Malvasia nera wines

Malvasia nera red wines can perfectly match with Italian cuisine and tomato-made dishes. Since it is a dry, sweet wine having low acidic level spicy food or fried rice can be a good match too.

Other items like cheese, chocolate, salad, cabbage, etc. are good to go with these wines. Malvasia nera wines are used in preparing desserts and can also be served with desserts.

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Michael Bredahl

Michael Bredahl

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 🙂

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