Marufo is a black grape from Portugal. In Portugal, it is often called Mourisco Tinto, and Moraiva Dulce in Spain.
Marufo is a highly productive variety that needs to be submitted to green harvest in order to produce grapes of higher quality.
The colour is black-blue, and it is reported to be quite neutral in flavour, offering red berries but little else to nose and palate. It is one of few Vitis Vinifera varieties recognised for being naturally resistant to Phylloxera. However, even if it can survive on its own rootstock, it is commonly grafted on North American rootstocks.
Marufo will produce light red wines of simpler character, intended for early consumption. It is therefore mostly used for blending, in Spain with Garnacha and in Portugal with the one or more of the typical Portuguese red wine grapes. Marufo is allowed for use in port.
If you can get hold of dry varietal Marufo (e.g. Mourisco Tinto or Moraiva Dulce) wine, try to match it with a dish that can make use of the wine’s fruitiness. A good example would be smoked ham. Best served at 12°C/54°F – 14°C/57°F.
Where is it grown?
Marufo’ heartland is the Iberian Peninsula, above all in Portugal’s Douro region. The total acreage is 4.008 ha/9,904 ac, placing it as the twelfth most planted grape in the country. Most of the planted area is found in Douro.
In Spain, the grape is planted above all in the central Castille-La Mancha region, and particularly in the provinces Albacete and Cuenca. The acreage mounts to 2.571 ha/6,353 ac, placing it as the thirty-fifth most planted grape in Spain.
As for Marufo’s popularity, the variety has seen a decrease with eleven percent in Spain and an increase of fifteen percent in Portugal between 2000 and 2010.
Marufo is likely to be an old variety, as is common when there are numerous synonyms. It is most likely indigenous to the Iberian Peninsula, it would be very surprising if this would not be the case.
There is however still no clear indications as to where this could be, but an educated guess is that it could be in the Duoro region, given that this is the grape’s heartland.