National Moscato Day 2022: 15 facts about Muscat

Reading Time: 5 minutes

To celebrate National Moscato Day 2022, we’ve put together 15 facts about Muscat, the French name for the varietal more commonly known by its Italian name, moscato.

National Moscato Day 2022

  1. Not just one variety
    Muscat grapes come in over 200 different varieties! Not all of these are used in the production of wine. The key muscats varieties used in wine production are: Muscat blanc à Petits Grains, Muscat of Alexandria, Muscat of Scanzorosciate, Muscat of Hamburg and Muscat Ottonel.


  1. The name Muscat
    There are several theories about where the name muscat come from:
    • The most commonly cited belief is the name is derived from the Persian word muchk.
    This is supported by similar etymology for the Greek moskos, Latin muscus and French musc.
    • The Italian word mosca meaning fly is a possibility as fruit flies are commonly attracted to the sweet aroma and high sugar levels of the grapes
    • It may have been named after the city of Muscat on the Gulf of Oman.
    • Similarly, it may have been named after the Greek city of Moschato, located southwest of Athens in Attica with Moschato being a common synonym in Greece for Muscat varieties.


  1. Other names
    Muscat blanc à Petits Grains is known by many names worldwide:

    • Muscat de Frontignan and Muscat Lunel in France.
    • Muscat Blanc in France and also the United States,
    • Muscat Canelli in the United States,
    • Moscato Bianco (white Moscato) in Italy,
    • Muscat Frontignan in South Africa,
    • Moschato in Greece,
    • Brown Muscat in Australia,
    • Muskateller in Germany and Austria,
    • Muscat de Grano Menudo in Spain.


  2. Origins of Moscato
    The family of Muscat were likely propagated during the period of classic antiquity (circa 800BC to 600AD) by the Greeks and Romans according to ampelographer Pierre Galet.However, ancient pots found in Greece found traces of an alcoholic drink made with Muscat grapes. Archaeological analysis found them to be over 3000 years old.


  1. All the hues
    With 200 + varieties of Muscat grapes, it’s not surprising that they range from white to pink to yellow to black.


  1. Muscat wines
    While there are differences between the different varietals of Muscat grapes and the wines with which they are made, all share the same grapey, musky aromatic trait. Muscat wines are typically quite sweet and lower in alcohol. Aromas of tangerine, mango, lychee, jasmine, and orange blossom are common. Tropical fruit and sweet spiciness are common on the palate.


  1. Notable French Muscat AOCs
    Some of the most reputed French AOCs using Muscat are:• Clairette de Die in Die in the Eastern Rhône is a sparkling White wine made from Muscat
    • Muscat d’Alsace, a synonym for Muscat Blanc a Petits Grains, is the oldest Muscat grown in Alsace. It is usually produced as a dry table wine.
    • Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise is considered to be the best of the South of France’s several vins doux naturels (fortified sweet wines). It has delicate, lovely aromas and flavours and can reach an alcohol strength of 21%!
    • Muscat du Cap Corse is a rare, sweet wine with very intense fruit and flower flavours which is produced on the island of Corsica.
    • Muscat de Frontignan, or Vin de Frontignan or Frontignan is considered to be the most important of Languedoc’s four Muscats.
    • Muscat de Lunel is also in the Languedoc region. It produces wines with a highly distinguished character while retaining its subtle, delicate bouquet. The silica soil is said to contribute.
    • Muscat de Mireval, also from Languedoc is similar to Muscat de Frontignan.
    • Muscat de Rivesaltes in the Roussillon region, represents about 70% of France’s total Muscat production. Two types of Muscat are allowed: Muscat Blanc a Petits Grains and Muscat d’Alexandrie.
    • Muscat de St-Jean-de-Minervois is said to be one of France’s rarest wines.

National Moscato Day/ Journee du muscat

  1. Muscat d’Alexandrie in France
    It’s commonly used as a blending component in the vin doux naturel  wines of Muscat de Rivesaltes in the Roussillon region. .


  1. Muscat Ottonel in France
    One of the most recent additions to the Muscat family, Muscat Ottonel was bred in the Loire Valley in the 1850s. It has the palest skin colour, ripens earliest and produces the most neutral wines of all the muscat grapes. Apart from being grown in the Loire Valley, Muscat Ottonel is the primary Muscat grown in Alsace where it’s used to produce dry and off-dry wines.


  1. Around the world
    Outside of France, Muscat is grown and made in Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Moldova, New Zealand, Portugal, Romania, South Africa, Spain, Tunisia, and the United States.


  1. Best Muscats of the World competition held annually
    The most recent edition, the 21st Muscats du Monde, took place on 7 & 8 September 2021 in Entre Vignes in the Occitane region. That edition saw entries from 19 countries and 182 still and sparkling muscat wines.


  1. Australia in the top 10 Best Muscats of the World
    Victoria’s Morris Wines in Rutherglen has consistently placed in the top 10 with their Old Premium – Rare Muscat




  1. Not only wine
    Muscat grapes aren’t only used to produce wine. They’re also used in the production of some spirits and liqueurs. Pavan is a blue liqueur made with muscat grapes and orange blossoms.Bouilleur Eau de vie Fine de Muscat 5 yrs is an aged spirit made by L’Atelier du Bouilleur, a craft distillery, located in the south of France, which is certified organic and organised as a cooperative. It is made from muscat grapes and has a 45% alcohol/ volume.


  1. National Moscato Day
    The celebration was created by Gallo Family Vineyards in California, USA. National Moscato Day is celebrated on 9th May every year.


  1. Get social
    Share your Muscat with the #NationalMoscatoDay and tag @matildamarseillaise_en on instagram and @matildamarseillaise on Facebook.

National Moscato Day 2022

Happy National Moscato Day 2022! What’s your favourite Muscat wine?


Want more wine?

If you like French wine, check out the following articles:


International Sauvignon Blanc Day 2022: 13 Facts about Sauvignon Blanc

International Viognier Day 2022: 19 facts about Viognier

Happy Pinot Grigio Day – a look at the French wine Pinot Gris

19 facts about Riesling for International Riesling Day 2022

International Chardonnay Day 2021: the grape, the wines and which ones to drink



Cabernet Franc Day 2021: facts and recommendations

Cabernet Sauvignon Day 2021: 15 things you didn’t know about Cabernet Sauvignon

International Grenache Day 2021: Discover 11 things you didn’t know about Grenache to celebrate

World Malbec Day 2022: 19 facts about Malbec

World Marselan Day 2022: 15 facts about Marselan

Tannat Day 2022: 23 facts about Tannat



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World Marselan Day 2022: 15 facts about Marselan

Reading Time: 3 minutes

To celebrate a World Marselan Day 2022, a celebration of a more obscure red wine varietal, we’ve put together a list of 15 facts about Marselan. We’ve also found a Marselan available for purchase in Australia, which we share with you.

World Marselan Day 2022

  1. Marselan is a blue-skinned, red wine grape.


  1. Origins of Marselan
    Marselan came about as a cross of cabernet sauvignon and grenache by scientist Professor Paul Truel in 1961. The grapes were chosen to marry the structure and elegance of cabernet sauvignon with the disease-resistance and high yields of Grenache.


  1. It worked! Marselan grapes are small but come on big bunches (which leads to higher yields), they are resistant to disease. Their size means there is a higher proportion of skins being used in wine-making. That leads to richer flavours, deeper colours and more tannic wines.


  1. Their later ripening means they need hot and sunny climates to mature. This also makes them an important part of the future of wine-making with climate change effects likely to make other varietals less suitable in the future.


  1. It wasn’t submitted for approval for commercial release and entry into the official register of grape varieties until 1990.


  1. The name Marselan comes from the local town, Marseillan, being the town in which the grape was born.


  1. Marselan wines
    The wines are deeply coloured and aromatic with supple tannins and the potential to age. Marselan wines can have aromas and flavours of mixed berries, plum and a touch of earthiness.


  1. Marselan in France
    In 2009, Marselan plantings made up 3,351 acres (1,356 hectares).


  1. The majority of Marselan plantings are Languedoc and southern Rhône Valley.


  1. Marselan in French wines
    In France, Marselan is mainly used in blends. In 2019, Marselan became one of four new red wine grapes authorised in the production of Bordeaux wines. Since last year, up to 10% of the blend in Bordeaux Superior and Bordeaux AOC wines can be Marselan.


  1. Languedoc however has produced some Marselan varietal wines – the first being in Carcassonne in 2002.


  1. Marselan in China
    In 2001, Marselan was introduced to China. Records from 2017 show 267 hectares of the grape, making Chinese plantings of Marselan the largest outside of its native France. These are largely found in south of Xinjiang, followed by Gansu, Ningxia and Huailai of Hebei. It’s even said that it may become China’s signature grape.
Image credit Chateau Zhongfei, Yanqi, Xinjiang
Image: Chateau Zhongfei, Yanqi, Xinjiang
  1. Marselan around the world
    Apart from its homeland of France and its new home in China, Marselan wines are also produced in Bulgaria, Croatia, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and in the United States (mainly California).


  1. World Marselan Day
    The wine is celebrated on the 27th April each year. World Marselan Day is the initiative of Jim Boyce at the Grape Wall of China. The date was chosen to honour the creator of the Marselan varietal, Paul Truel who was born on April 27, 1924.


  1. Get social
    Celebrate the varietal and the day by tagging @worldmarseland1 and using the #worldmarselanday on your photos. Also tag us @matildamarseillaise so we can see what you’re drinking and how you’re celebrating the day.

Marselan Day


None of our usual French wine importers have any Marselan wines in stock, so we’re unable to give you recommendations this year. We have however found the following French Marselan blend available for purchase in Australia:


Marselan Dan Murphy'sDan Murphy’s have a Granbeau Marselan IGP Pays d’Oc 2017 from the Languedoc-Roussillon region.


It is described as:

Dark, deep colour with a violet tint, the nose is intense, with blackcurrant, plum, spice, black pepper and slightly oaked and it tastes full, rich, well balanced and long. Enjoy with red meat, cheeses.


Happy World Marselan Day 2022? How will you celebrate the day?


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