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Orange Muscat

About Orange Muscat

Orange Muscat is a white grape variety best known in California, Oregon and Australia.

Though not known for sure, the origin of Orange Muscat is thought to lie in Italy or France. Relatively popular at one time, the grape is not widely planted in either country today. In Italy, Orange Muscat is known as Moscato Fior d’Arancio, meaning “Orange Blossom Muscat” in Italian. Its French name, Muscat Fleur d’Orange, has the same meaning.

As its name may hint, Orange Muscat has a distinctive and strong aroma of orange. Its powerful aromatics also include orange blossom, apricot, pear and spicy fruit. It also shares some characteristics typical of the Muscat family of grapes, including a relatively lush mouthfeel. It is produced in dry, off-dry and fully sweet styles.

The Orange Muscat is a relatively obscure grape variety, though it is a cross between two more widely-known parents: Muscat Blanc à Petit Grains and Chasselas.

Muscat Blanc à Petit Grains is the noblest grape of the Muscat family. It has the distinction of being the oldest grape variety cultivated in France and may be the world’s oldest grape variety overall. It produces wines with pronounced grape flavors, spicy notes, and some of the orange and citrus aromas found prominently in Orange Muscat. Muscat Blanc à Petit Grains is grown throughout the world, with considerable plantings in Italy, France, Greece, Australia and California. Like Orange Muscat, this variety is used to produce dry and sweet wines.

Its other parent is Chasselas, Switzerland’s best known and most widely planted white grape variety. It does not share the noble reputation of Muscat Blanc à Petit Grains, though it produces quality white wine in the Vaud region of Switzerland and Savoie in France. Chasselas has a relatively neutral flavor profile, so its best wines tend to reflect the terroir rather than any specific grape characteristics. It is also grown in Chile, Hungary, Romania, Russia and Serbia.

The production of Orange Muscat is small and is concentrated mostly in the U.S. and Australia. Perhaps the most prominent producer of Orange Muscat in the U.S. is Quady Winery in San Joaquin Valley. Its flagship wine is Essensia, a lush and full-bodied sweet wine made entirely from Orange Muscat.

In Australia, Orange Muscat production is centered in Victoria. Some producers use Orange Muscat in the lusciously sweet wines of Rutherglen, and there are also plantings in Beechworth, Glenrowan, Goulburn Valley and King Valley.

Looking for an Orange Muscat wine from a specific region, or offered at a particular price point? Use Wine Enthusiast’s online Buying Guide below. We make learning about wine and spirits and browsing top-rated beverages a breeze.

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