Italian Indigenous Varieties: Müller Thurgau Bianco

Muller Thurgau is a variety that was created in the 1880s in Germany by Hermann Müller who was Swiss at Geisenheim. He was from Thurgau in Switzerland, hence the name of the variety. It came to Italy in 1939 in the Trentino Alto Adige. The parents of the variety seem to be Riesling and a grape called Madeleine Angevine. I remember the first time I tried one. It was 1997 and I was studying with my first professor in Italy – Luigi Amore, I kid you not, was his name. He had a long handlebar mustache and he taught me the basics of Italian wine. I remember when he got to Muller Thurgau thinking it was odd that this Germanic sounding variety should be grown in Italy.

Even stranger is that it factors into the Erice DOC in Sicily. I visited Erice in 2004. In 40 Celsius heat, I bet Mueller Thurgau is refreshing.

I have tasted a number of them through the years. Last year at Vinitaly, I tasted one from Castel Sallegg. The wine was fruity and floral with more mature white fruits and flowers than I might have expected. It also has a particular note of nutmeg. It grows in Alto Adige in the Isarco Valley, Bassa Atesina and Oltradige. It grown throughout the world, including in the US. Apparently they are making sparkling Mueller Thurgau in Sicily as well.

This is one of those varieties that it is hard to say are indigenous to Italy but

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