Malvasia is a Greek wine made from a variety from the peninsula of the same name, south of the Peloponnese (originally Monemvasia).
In fact, it is a mutation of the pinot noir, resulting in a discoloration of the berries.
The term malvasia is used above all in Valais, Switzerland, but it is also found in Savoie and in the Loire Valley, only to describe the wine made from pinot gris.
Corsican malvasia is most often from Vermentino, an unrelated variety, and in Italy the appellation appears as Malvasia di Lipari or Santo de Toscane.
It is also used in the composition of Madeira wine and in Port.
The malvasia of the eastern Pyrenees is tourbat.
The malvasia of the Douro is vermentino.
This sweet white wine was very popular throughout Europe in the Middle Ages.
In the 15th century, the Duke of Clarence was sentenced to death by his brother, King Edward IV of England, and chose as his method of execution to be drowned in a tank of malvasia.
In the 19th century, malvasia was as famous as Noble Joué and was considered as the white Noble Joué.
The bunches of pinot gris are small and compact and the berries are pinkish-gray.
A great amount of patience is required to obtain a favorable development of noble rot on the variety, which means it is necessary to take a few risks. However, this makes it possible to obtain early withered harvests (passerillage) provided that the amount of harvest is well controlled.
The term malvasia has always been used to refer to a demi-sec, or mellow, wine.