Euganei Hills: The land of Moscato Fior D’Arancio
Moscato Fior d’Arancio is a sweet and aromatic (and often sparkling) wine produced in the Veneto region of northeastern Italy, specifically in the Colli Euganei area. It is made from the Moscato Giallo (Yellow Muscat) grape variety, which thrives in the hilly terrain and volcanic soils of the region. Here’s a closer look at Moscato Fior d’Arancio:
The term Fior D’Arancio gives to Moscato Giallo a timeless appeal and identity to the wine from the Veneto region, more precisely from Euganean Hills .
The term for the Muscat grape has Syrian or Greek origins. It comes from the word “muscum,” a term reminiscent of musk, which in the late Latin language took on the meaning of fragrant.
In Italy this white berry grape appears in northern Italy, in two in the Colli Euganei province of Padua in Veneto in the Moscato Giallo Fior d’Arancio version and in Trentino Alto Adige, where it is known as Goldenmuskateller.
I prepared some insights on Moscato Giallo Fior d’Arancio DOCG in an angle that starts from the territory and its production, historical hints that develop on the Po Valley, and which producers deserve a visit from the point of view of hospitality and reception.
“I flee the city as a life sentence and choose to live
in a lonely little village, in a pretty little house,
surrounded by an olive grove and a vineyard,
where I spend the days fully quiet,
away from commotion, noise, and chores,
reading continually and writing.”
Francesco Petrarca, in a letter to Francesco Bruni in 1371.
The territory of the Euganean Hills
Since the Middle Ages, the Euganean Hills area was esteemed for wine production due to its location isolated from the roads and traffic of merchants.
However, the wine produced here are considered quality after the efforts of monks in agriculture during the year 1000. Production increased and the quality of wine was elevated, unlike what it was since Roman times (they added honey in the fermented must) .
Thanks to the production network of its own local farmers and creation of its own measuring system , the Pedevenda concola, the wine produced here is sought after by merchants and hoteliers, as well as the nobility, and church.
The Venetian monastery of S. Zaccaria, for example, owned in 1170 in the Monselice area many lands under vine. Currently, the Berici Hills reveal wines of the everyday, but sometimes surprising thanks to the research and dedication of some of the local producers.
The soil is predominantly volcanic, rich in marl & silt, two interesting components that contribute to the growth of identity strains.
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Euganean Hills & Wine Experience
Looking at the Euganean Hills, in the vicinity of the province of Padua, one gets a sense of a little-visited area, which is a hidden treasure.
The bucolic landscape, the hills often harbored by fog during the winter, leave room for the sometimes intrepid atmosphere but witnessed stories that reserve historical values and tales.
As an illustration, the Paduan plain after the lockdown period is experiencing a silent revolution in terms of wine tourism, catering, and cultural walks.
The area reserves, in addition to Moscato Fior d’Arancio, a wide variety of grapes-productions of international grape varieties, such as merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon but also a native grape variety-the friularo, in the Bagnoli. (Click here to learn about Villa Widmann).
I had the opportunity to organize the Latest experience “The Pearls of the Euganean Hills” in the garden of Villa Barbarigo in Valsanzibio
This villa is home to a garden in the form of a labyrinth that has been cared for and maintained since its design, the park holds centuries-old trees from all over the world. ( I will devote an article to learning about the Villa in brief).
Visiting the Wine Producer
Elisa Disavanzo is the owner of Maeli Wines and has believed from the beginning in the territory, its emblematic wines – Moscato Giallo Fior d’arancio, which has a unique characteristic all over the world, its wines have been awarded successive times.
The beating heart of production is Mount Pirio. It is possible to take advantage of the temperature excursion from the Dolomites and the Venice lagoon, in fact can create a perfect habitat for growing healthy grapes with the desired characteristics.
Moscato Fior d’Arancio is closely linked to the Colli Euganei hills and the unique terroir of the region.
The volcanic soils, combined with the favorable climate and specific viticultural practices, contribute to the distinct character and quality of the wine.
The microclimate of the Colli Euganei area, with warm days and cool nights, helps to preserve the aromatic compounds in the grapes, resulting in the expressive aromas found in Moscato Fior d’Arancio.
Sparkling Moscato Giallo Fior d’Arancio Maeli 2019
Moscato Giallo Fior D’Arancio Maeli comes also in two versions: a lighter one, a result of the charmat or martinotti method, with a pleasant almondy aftertaste it leaves in the mouth;
Otherwise it comes as an interesting classic method , 36 months on the lees that enhances the expression of the grape variety in a more concentrated version.
The result is for those who seek care and precision, with a delicate fragrance, unobtrusive and always very enveloping, excellent to accompany the best moments at sunset and with the best company.
Tasting Notes Moscato Fior D’Arancio Maeli DOC Spumante
- Color: Straw yellow with greenish reflections
- Nose: The wine exhibits a vibrant bouquet of orange blossom, orange peel, and citrus fruits, hence the name “Fior d’Arancio,” which means “orange blossom” in Italian. These fragrant notes give the wine a delightful and distinctive aromatic profile.
- Fine and elegant bubbles, good acidity that gives us freshness and recall a new sip.
- The taste notes match the notes heard on the nose, with good persistence.
Moscato Fior d’Arancio is generally light-bodied, making it an approachable and easy-to-drink wine. Its lower alcohol content, typically around 6-7%, adds to its lightness and makes it a popular choice for casual sipping and social gatherings.
If you want visiting the Maeli Wines, click here
Fior d’Arancio: Food Pairing
Just these little indulgences that allow us to enjoy life to the fullest: afterwards, a good glass of Moscato Giallo Fior d’Arancio goes well with an equally delicate dish.
Certainly simplicity always wins, preparing a recipe that can be captured at its essence to best accompany the taste without losing the pleasure of enjoying aperitif time at its best.
Another suggestion of food pairing could be with fruit tarts, citrus cakes, creamy desserts, and lighter pastries.
It can also be enjoyed as an aperitif or paired with spicy Asian cuisine to balance the heat and enhance the aromatic experience.
Bruschetta with ricotta cheese, a drizzle of honey and walnuts to accompany the delicate taste of Fior d’Arancio
You could try a local dish such as a guinea fowl and almond risotto, or with an oriental recipe that would go well with it, such as sushi, which could explore flavors such as sweet-sour, umami, and spicy.
Steamed fillet of sea bass with thyme and olive oil with Jerusalem artichoke chips. Simple to make, delicious to taste!
In summary, Moscato Fior d’Arancio is a sweet and aromatic sparkling wine produced from the Moscato Giallo grape variety in the Colli Euganei region of Italy. Its intense floral and citrus aromas, balanced sweetness, and gentle effervescence make it a delightful and refreshing choice for those seeking a lighter and aromatic wine experience.