Naturally, one might associate malvazija istarska with the malvasia-this-or-that growing in regions across the Italian mainland and islands, likely to have been brought over from Greece before the Roman Empire. Depending on who you believe, this is either partly true or not at all true. Most accounts point to its having originated in Istra, the northwest corner of Croatia that was once part of Italy. Another hypothesis relates to its proven genetic semblance to malvasia di lipari, a variety that pops up on Sicily and Sardegna. All confusing, really. In any case, look no further for a textbook example of the grape, from one of the acknowledge most reliable and quality-oriented producers in Istra. Benvenuti produces wine from just three varieties: malvazija istarska, muscat, and for red wines, teran, each bearing the distinct mark of the eastern Adriatic coast. A plate of warm olives, sheep’s milk cheese, and fresh bread is all you need to go with this one.