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Malvasia

Malvasia: Group of mostly unrelated varieties—17 different “Malvasias” on official list, most white, some red (see Malvasia Nera), one pink (see Malvasia Rosa). Primary white varieties:

  • Malvasia Bianca di Candia: Most-planted Malvasia. Light bodied; high in acidity. Aromas & flavors: White flowers, citrus, green or yellow apple, herbs.
  • Malvasia Bianca Lunga: Primary ingredient (with or without Trebbiano Toscano) in vin santo. Low acidity.
  • Malvasia del Lazio: Aka Malvasia Puntinata; a crossing of Zibibbo and Schiava Grossa. Highest-quality Malvasia. Aromas & flavors: Yellow fruit (peach, mango, banana, passionfruit), sage. Best DOP: Frascati DOC/G.
  • Malvasia di Candia Aromatica: High-quality variety, especially for sweet wines. Aromas & flavors: Aromatic; tropical fruit and spice. Best DOPs: Colli di Parma DOC, Colli Piacentini DOC.
  • Malvasia di Lipari: Genetically same as Calabria’s Greco Bianco. Primarily used for passito wines. Aromas & flavors: Peach, apricot, honey, orange. Best DOP: Malvasia delle Lipari DOC.
  • Malvasia Istriana: Often used for “orange wines.” Minerally. Aromas & flavors: Peach, apricot, pear, wisteria, (with age) diesel. Best DOPs: Carso DOC, Collio DOC, Friuli Isonzo DOC.

In a nutshell

Alternative Names and Subvarieties: Iuvarella, Malvasia, Malvasia Bianca di Basilicata, Malvasia Bianca di Candia, Malvasia Bianca Lunga, Malvasia del Lazio (Malvasia Puntinata), Malvasia di Candia Aromatica, Malvasia di Lipari, Malvasia di Sardegna, Malvasia Istriana, Malvoisier, Malvoisie

Best Known For: Frascati

Where Grown: Widespread, with the largest concentrations in Lazio (32%), Puglia (15%), and Campania (10%)

Vineyard Area: 13,648 ha (33,712 acres)

Denominations that use this grape variety

Majority Component in One or More Wines of:

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