Thursday February 20, 2020

Wine: The Muscat magician

Wine lovers should celebrate Arnaldus de Villa Nova, the 13th-century alchemist who discovered the key to creating sweet wine.

26th October, 2014
The Roussillon region in the Catalan Pyrenees, home to the Banyuls appellation d’origine contrôlée. Picture: Getty

Vin Doux Naturel is the French term for fortified, slightly sweet wine. It covers a global category which includes port and sherry, the sweet wines of the Rhône Valley’s Rasteau, fortified wines from South Africa to Australia, and sweet Muscat wines from Europe.

However, 500 years before any of these wine styles were even dreamt about, they were in the sights of the dark and mysterious necromancer, Arnaldus de Villa Nova.

Accused...

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