Muscat of Alexandria is an ancient grape. It is presumed that the vines originated in North Africa (possibly Egypt) and were disseminated around the Mediterranean by the Romans, earning it the synonym Muscat Romain. The vine is cultivated in fairly hot climates because it is sensitive to cool weather during flowering and needs heat for the grapes to ripen. Despite its limitations Muscat of Alexandria is grown widely in France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, the eastern Mediterranean, eastern Europe, South America, California, South Africa, Australia.
Traditionally it has been used as a table or raisin grape rather than a wine grape. The wine produced from Muscat of Alexandria often lacks the complexity and depth of wine made with Muscat Blanc a Petits Grains. Wines are typically strong, sweet and straightforward. However it can produce outstanding wines such as those in Spain, where it is called Moscatel de Alejandria, and in Portugal, where winemakers use it to make 'Moscatel de Setubal'.