Istrian Malvasia Spitz

Malvazija Istarska got the name after peninsula of Istria shared between Croatia, Slovenia and Italy. It represents one of the main white wines of Croatian Istria and the north Dalmatian coast. The vine was introduced to the area by Venetian merchants who brought cuttings from Greece. The malvasia is called malvazija in Croatian language. It is the main white wine in the region. Malvasia wine is medium to strong with alcohol content of 11,5 and 13.5 vol.%. Moderate acid content, between 5,0 and 6,5g/l of total acids. It’s full, rounded and harmonic wine with 18 to 22g/l of extract. Malvasia is a variety of large oportunities which, according to content of aromatic components, we can classify as semi-aromatic variety with a large flower-fruit aroma potential. It’s specific and discreet aroma which reminds us of acacia flower fragrance especialy if the grapes are from the higher and sunny positions. Fruit aromas that usually dominate are apple, plum and apricot. When the wine is mature there’s a certain bitter almond taste too. Malvasia’s got straw-yellow colour with a golden hue and depending on technological method of processing and seed-processing the colour is moving from greenish-yellow through staw-yellow to golden-yellow tones.

Istrian Malvasia vine leaves are very exuberant. It’s got strong vine with long scion and internodes. Leaf is mid size or big, has three parts with emphasised tines. Surface of a leaf is smooth, light green, smooth at the bottom. Cluser is mid size, loose or medium compact, usually with one wing. Berries are mid size or big, round, yellowish-green and when ripe and on the sunny side golden-yellow. Skin is covered with grey bloom and emphasised top dot. Meat is juicy of pleasant, sweet taste. Malvasia is very fruitful variety therefore agrotehnical and ampelotechnic measures are reqiured to regulate the crop. It’s very delicate when in blossom, so it can disperse. In average accumulates 17-22% of sugar and 7g/l of total acids.First written data on Malvasia cultivation in Istria date from 1891 in conection with wines exhibited at the wine fair in Zagreb. In 1900 F. Blasig metioned Malvasia among other varieties in an article on a grape harvest and areas around Piran and Pićan. Vitolović had then established that there is only one variety of Malvasia cultivated in Istria, the one that Libutti described and that there are three tipes: malvazija vela, malvazija mala and malvazija rastresitog grozda (Malvasia big, Malvasia small and Malvasia of loose cluser). Of these three tipes most represented one was malvazija vela so the research was directed to that tipe (other two appeared very rarely) and the author named it MALVAZIJA ISTARSKA (Istrian Malvasia).

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