Italian Indigenous Varieties: Manzoni Moscato & Manzoni Rosa

This week’s indigenous grape varieties are two that were created by Professor Luigi Manzoni during the 1930s at the Istituto Tecnico Agrario di Conegliano. The Manzoni Moscato is a cross between Raboso Piave and Moscato d’Amburgo. The idea behind this new grape variety was that it would make Raboso less “rustic.” I mentioned Raboso on my blog in November of 2008, saying I didn’t think it had made it to the States yet. I’m happy to say that was a long time ago and there are a lot of versions of Raboso now in the USA as you can see here. I digress back to today’a varietals. This Manzoni Moscato is grow near the city of Treviso.

This variety makes good sparkling as well as sweet wines with a pink color and red fruit aromas. Sometimes it is used together with Manzoni Rosa to make what they call, “vini liquorosi” or a fortified wine. Manzoni Moscato is also available in the US, here.

Manzoni Rosa was actually created before the Manzoni Moscato and the Manzoni Bianco, in the period from 1924-1930. It is a cross between Trebbiano Toscano and Traminer aromatico. He created this variety in order to make blend the “rustic” Trebbiano which was very productive with the more refined aromas of the Traminer grape. Unfortunately, the result was not an unmitigated success and the variety was very intense, so much so that it was usually only made into “vino liquoroso.” It had a following in the 1950s and 1960s in the Veneto but fell out of fashion. The variety is used, together with Manzoni Moscato, to make the vino liquoroso, a rose style, sweet wine with candied fruit aromas and flavors.

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