The Momjan Muscat

26.10.2014.

A specific old sort of white Muscat, the Momjan Muscat, is an authentic native sort in the Momjan area. The Momjan Muscat is dry and sweet, intensive gold in colour. It is attributed the bouquet of wild carnations, rose and sage while some even attribute aphrodisiac qualities to this wine. This desert wine goes well with pastries and other refined dishes so many wine connoisseurs/ lovers place it first among Istrian sorts.
On 270 metres above the sea level, just a few kilometres away from Buje and twenty so kilometres from the sea, lies the small town of Momjan, a place of rich history, yet slightly forgotten in the present.
 
It is a typical north Istrian town, one that was inhabited in the prehistoric times thanks to a favourable position and many fresh water springs. After the fall of the Roman Empire it becomes a feudal property first owned by the Italian noblemen and later by German aristocracy. In 1848 it got the status of rural municipality and in 1905 it became part of the municipality of Buje. The ruins of an ancient castelo originating from 13 century can be found at its western slopes. Nowadays Momjan with several hamlets covers a wider area rich in natural beauties and lands suitable for vineyards, olive trees and orchards.
Along with Malvazija these vineyards also produce Muscat, high quality VIN de Pays appreciated beyond Croatia's borders (perhaps more than at home) that used to be in high demand at Viennese and Italian courts.

In all honesty, once you try this pearl, it will be impossible to refrain from it the next time somebody offers it to you. In Momjan you are most likely to get white or rosé Muscat, though the real Momjan Muscat is white. It is produced in two (sweet and very sweet) or three (sweet, medium sweet and very sweet) variations so one needs to be careful with their choice, as Muscat even in its gentlest variation can be too sweet for some people. It is therefore wise to gradually raise the intensity through the course of the meal: before the meal try the least sweet variation, sweet variation during or after the main course and very sweet with desert. Or you could first try malvazija, and leave Momjan Muscat for the icing on the cake at the end of the meal. If you drink it for the first time, ask your waiter for a recommendation. In the Momjan cuisine which relies on rural tourism and home cooked dishes, you will find other Muscat based delicacies, such as delicious Muscat mousse at San Mauro guest farm.
 
Though it would be unfair to say that Muscat is all there is in Momjan or that it is the main reason to see the town, you cannot neglect the fact that a glass of Momjan Muscat after a stroll through the woods or a picnic up one of the Momjan hills will round up the experience of Momjan perfectly. Of course, it can be bought in some shops and wine fairs: you don't have to go to Momjan to try its Muscat, but nowhere but in Momjan will you be able to imagine watching the sun set over the lands of Buje from a wine-cellar terrace or a guest farm with a glass of Muscat in your hand except in Momjan.
 


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