Malvasia makes round, soft white wines with floral aromas and flavors of apricots and peaches. During winemaking, the grape is quite prone to oxidation. The Malvasia varietal has a complex family tree and is very susceptible to genetic mutations.
Several California producers are currently making very good Malvasia. In Napa Valley, Sterling Vineyards makes a nice version. Bonny Doon is another leading producer in the Golden State.
In Italy, the grape is produced into a sweet fortified wine called Passito. Malvasia Nero is a red grape that is often added to Chianti in Tuscany. In the Rioja region of Spain, it is often blended with Trebbiano grape. Malvasia is made into very sweet Madeira called Malmsey.
Unfortunately, many of these vines were not planted on phylloxera resistant rootstocks and are gradually being replanted. This continues to be an expensive and burdensome process.