Morio-Muskat is a lesser-quality white grape that used to be extensively grown in Germany. In the 1970s, plantings of the variety helped to fuel Germany’s Liebfraumilch production, but this style of wine has fallen from fashion and Morio-Muskat viticulture is declining. The extensive Morio-Muskat vineyards of Rheinhessen and Pfalz have been largely uprooted and varietal examples of the wine become less common every vintage.
Despite its name, Morio-Muskat is no relation to the Muscat family of grapes. It is in fact a cross of Silvaner and Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc) made by viticulturist Peter Morio at the Geilweilerhof Institute for Grape Breeding in 1928. The variety is often confused with genuine Muscat for its unrefined, musky perfume, but its searingly high acidity betrays its true identity. Morio-Muskat’s low must-weight makes it unsuitable for use in Germany’s great sweet wines and it has therefore been confined to bulk-wine production.