Primarily, this term is the name for a vine associated. In fact, it is an umbrella term for various game types. intersections respectively. new varieties with muscatel involvement and not uncommonly not related grape varieties. It is therefore not possible to speak of a group of varieties and certainly not a Muscat family (the same phenomenon also applies to the four groups of names Lambrusco. Malvasia. Trebbiano and Vernaccia ). There are muscat varieties with berries in all imaginable shades of white, yellow, gray, green, pink, red, brown, violet, blue and black. According to one of the numerous hypotheses, the variety is said to be around 3,000 BC. The Egyptians and Persians were known, for which wall paintings are sometimes also mentioned as an indication. However, there is no solid evidence for this, because identification is of course not possible with such pictorial representations.
As likely origin will today Greece or possibly Italy considered. This suggests that there are descendants and kinship relationships with other varieties in both countries. Accordingly, it was possibly brought to Europe by the Greeks and spread by the Romans in their domain. Supposedly the emperors were already Charlemagne (742-814) and Friedrich I. Barbarossa (1122-1190) great admirers of muscatel. The fact that muscatel wine is allegedly mentioned in the Nibelungenlied seems to be a fairy tale, because none of this is in the Middle High German original, which was created in the early 13th century.
There are several variants of the meaning of the name. Since it is a very old one, possibly already in the antiquity known grape variety or grape varieties, the Latin “musca” (fly) is meant because the intense fragrance attracts insects. That will also be the case with Columella (1st century AD) and Pliny the Elder (23-79) mentioned ancient ones Vitis apiana connected. The cities of Muscat in the Sultanate of Oman or Moschat, today a suburb of Athens, call other hypotheses. The most common cause for the name refers to the typical smell / taste of the grapes or the wine made from them - den nutmeg, Contrary to popular belief, two different causes / substances are responsible for this, namely nutmeg and musk, Such flavors also come from other grape varieties such as Traminer in front. Varieties with this tone become the so-called bouquet places counted.
Varieties under this name can be found in old documents from many countries. The naturalist Bartholomaeus Anglicus (1190-1250) first mentioned it in 1230 in his work "De proprietatibus rerum", in which he reports about "wine extracted from muscat grapes". The famous Petrus de Crescentiis (1230-1320) mentioned one in his work "Ruralia Commoda" table grape "Muscatellus" (Italy). Other reports include varieties called Muscat (1394 in France), Muscatel (1513 in Spain), Muscatelli (1536 in Switzerland) and Muscateller (1546 in Germany); the latter by the botanist Hieronymus buck (1498-1554) in his "Kreutter book". In German-speaking countries, a distinction is often made between yellow (white) muscatel and red muscatel, and in Germany it is even shown separately. The most important Muscat varieties:
But that is by no means all. in the glossary there are around 150 types of Muscat. The term "nutmeg / muscat" is used as a name in many grape variety names or synonyms and homonyms included in the respective national languages, although they are not always muscatel varieties. These include Meski (Tunisia); Misket (Bulgaria); Moscatel (Spain, Portugal); Moscato, Moscatello (Italy); Moschato, Moschoudia, Muskuti (Greece); Nutmeg, muscatel (Germany, Austria); Muskotály (Hungary). specially Muscat Blanc and Muscat d'Alexandrie were often either ancestors for natural crossings or cross partners for new varieties (the varieties are listed there).
Source: Wine Grapes / J. Robinson, J. Harding, J. Vouillamoz / Penguin Books Ltd. 2012
Images: Ursula Brühl, Doris Schneider, Julius Kühn Institute (JKI)