Black Muscat


Black Muscat is a Vitis vinifera grape variety derived from the crossing of the Schiava Grossa and Muscat of Alexandria varieties. It is known under a variety of local names such as Golden Hamburg, and Black Hamburg in the US; Muscat de Hambourg (or Hamburgh) in France; Moscato di Amburgo in Italy; and Muscat Gamburgskiy in Russia and former Soviet Union countries. Confusingly, Black Hamburg is also used as a synonym for its maternal parent. It is commonly produced as table wine but in California's Central Valley it has been used in the production of dessert wine. As a dessert wine it can be highly aromatic with a rich coloring. In the US it is grown in wine appellations in California, Virginia, Oregon, Texas, and Washington. In Canada, it is also found on Vancouver Island.

In France, the grape is used chiefly as a component of fruit baskets. In Eastern Europe, the grape produces a light, dry red wine. It is also starting to gain popularity as a table wine component in China.

Horticulturist Walter Clore has postulated that this grape might have been one of the first Vitis vinifera varieties planted in Washington State in the early 19th century.


Also called: Golden Hamburg, Muscat Hamburg, Black Hamburg (US), Muscat de Hambourg (France), Moscato di Amburgo (Italy) and Muscat Gamburgskiy (Russia)
Origin: Germany
Major regions: California, Virginia, Pacific Northwest, Vancouver Island, India, China, Eastern Europe