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Muscat of Alexandria grapes

by | Nov 23, 2016

Muscat of Alexandria is a type of white wine grape belonging to the Muscat family of species Vitis Vinifera.

Muscat of Alexandria

Muscat of Alexandria is believed to be an “ancient vine” and experts consider it among the oldest vines which are genetically unmodified still in existence.

Wine grape varieties

Origin and History of Grape

This grape originated in North Africa, and the name is possibly derived from its relation with Ancient Egyptians who made use of this grape to produce wines.

Muscat of Alexandria has its origin in the ancient Egypt. The vines were first imported to the Cape of Good Hope in 1600s by the settlers from Portugal.

The variety has played a very essential role throughout the following decades in the grape cultivation in the Cape. It is also used as a table grape and raisins.

Regions Where It Is Grown

While in the present day, it is mainly grown as a table grape or for the production of raisins, it is yet an essential grape in the South African and Australian wine industry.

It is also grown immensely in the North Eastern Aegean region of Greece and on the island of Samos and Cleopatra must have drunk this wine reputedly. It is also believed to complete the Beaume de Venise of France in its most developed form.

In Italy, this white wine is produced from the grape on the Pantelleria Island and in Spain; the grape is utilized as a wine around Alicante, Malaga, the Canary Islands and Valencia.


Muscat of Alexandria is also famous under the synonyms Aggliko, Acherfield’s Early Muscat, Albillo de Toro, Alexander Muskat, Alexandrian Frontignan, Aleksandrijski Muskat, Alexandriai Muskotally, Alexandriski Muskat, Angliko, Apostoliatiko, Augibi, Anglico, Argelino, Augibi Blanc, Augibi Muscat, Augibi de Muscat, Bornova Misketi, Augihi Muscat, Bornova Misketi, Broccula,  Bowood Muscat, Cabas a la Reine, Chasselas Fleur d’Oranger, Charlesworth Tokay, Chasselas Musque, Cibib, Cibeben Muskateller, Cibib Muskatani Bijeli, Damaszkuszi Muskotally, Englesiko, Fruity Lexia, Gordo, Hanepoot, Zihibbo di Termini etc.

Characteristics of Grape

The clusters of the grape are long, large, conical and winged.

The clusters have comparatively long peduncles.

The berries are oval, large, table grape sized with distinct Muscat flavor.

The berries are yellow to dull green in color when ripe and when exposed it is amber colored. Each grape produces with fine distinction, wines with the intense, distinct, rosy-sweet, aromatic and well-recognized fragrance of Muscat, and abnormal for several wine varieties, which really tasted like grapes.


The vine survives in a hot climate and is chiefly vulnerable to the cold climate during its flowering season. It ripens August and is a seeded grape. The vine is fairly vigorous when cultivated on its own roots on sandy soils cause extreme poor vigor.

The shoot grows in a semi-erect way. The production is generally 7-10 tons per acre. The cordon-trained young vines generally produce more grapes. The grape is a late-season variety and is harvested in early September to mid-October.

Muscat of Alexandria is reasonably vulnerable to powdery mildew, Pierce’s disease and Black measles and has low-to-fair vulnerability for leaf spot and Phomopsis cane.

Characteristics of Wine

Wine produced from Muscat of Alexandria has a typical taste of grapes, and was famous in the postwar era when the flavors inclined to the uncomplicated and sweet.

The vines are fruitful producers, but are very vulnerable to powdery mildew and so are only cultivated in the most arid areas. Production was mostly in Australia, South Africa and California, but the wine varieties originated in northern Africa, Southern Europe, the Levant and Turkey.

Much was utilized in the production of port and sherry as well as brandy, either distilled as base wine or brandy spirit. The grape in Malaga is frequently blended with Pedro Ximenez to produce a strong wine that differs in color from dark black to gold.

In Australia, the grape is utilized primarily to raise the alcohol level in both red and white wines in a cold climate, in wines sold as “Moscato”. Muscat of Alexandria is used for table, Muscat dessert and sparkling wines in the warm regions of the San Joaquin Valley.

Food Pairings with Wine

This wine can be enjoyed with Dulce de leche, Glazed chestnuts and White chocolate mousse with salted caramel.

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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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