Moscatel de Alejandría is an ancient vine, grown all along the Mediterranean as table and wine grapes. Its origins take us back to the city of Alexandria in Egypt. Some academics source its origin at Sardinia or Sicily islands or even Greece.
It has mid budding and late ripening. The Moscatel de Alejandria variety has big clusters and berries. It is well adapted to hot climates, with good drought endurance; given the appropriate conditions the sugar levels in the must are high. It is a variety prone to powdery mildew, botrytis cinerea and insects. Additionally it usually has zinc deficiency. Moscatel de Alejandría is typically goblet short pruned.
Moscatel de Alejandría sweet wines are less subtle and dense than those of Muscat Blanc, presenting orange blossom and jammy aromas. The main terpineol compounds in the different muscat varieties are linalool and geraniol (red roses smell)
In France, Moscatel de Alejandría is grown basically in the Languedoc-Roussillon and Pyrénées-Orientales departments. It is used for still (dry) wines but mostly for sweet white wines such as AOC Muscat de Rivesaltes.
In Spain, wine producers as Telmo Rodríguez and Jorge Ordóñez have proved that Moscatel de Alejandría can yield refined, delicate still sweet wines. The best examples of this variety are found in Málaga, some of them with large cask-ageing.