Mondeuse

Mondeuse is a richly pigmented red wine grape variety that is prevalent on the flanks of the French Alps. From the Savoie region, where it reaches its zenith across a number of well exposed sites, to Bugey, a small yet well regarded region that straddles the Jura, Mondeuse produces spicy wines that are scented with red berry notes, and marked by rustic tannins in their youth. It is for this reason, perhaps, that plantings are on the decline.

However, Mondeuse has many positive attributes. It is sturdy, vigorous, high yielding and buds belatedly. Its propensity therefore to withstand frigid temperatures and early spring frost, sees it grown successfully in Italy's north-eastern region of Friuli. Here it is known as Refosco. For similar reasons, it is also thought to be well suited to north-eastern Victoria.

Mondeuse's fecundity, however, also means that sites such as alluvial basins, are best avoided. Conversely, meagre hillside sites are ideal to mitigate the variety's tendency to yield more than is ideal for quality wine production. Furthermore, ascetically pruned bush vines are the best means of training.

While debate lingers as to whether the material outside of France is identical to that grown in the Savoie, for all intensive purposes at this stage, Refosco and Mondeuse are thought to be the same.

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