Ondenc variety disappearing

by Ross

I was just reading about the Ondenc grape variety. I was recently at Great Western and much to my horror I was told they pulled out their Ondenc grapes.

This is such a shame as the vines were originally planted in the 1890's or so I was told years ago. They said with Fosters in control they didn't produce enough to make it viable. The Hans Irvine sparkling wine they produced from it to my mind was absolutely lovely. Luckily I have still a few bottles of the 1990 and 1991 to drink.

Comments for Ondenc variety disappearing

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Sep 27, 2008
Ondenc on the way out
by: darby

Thanks for your comments about Ondenc Ross.

When the accountants take control all sorts of atrocities occur.

Here is some history to the variety. It is used in South Western France and Bordeaux where it makes a fairly neutral white, and is often distilled for cognac or armagnac.

Ondenc's name comes form the name of an area near Toullouse. In various areas of France it goes under a variety of names including Piquepoule de Moissac, Blanquette, Dourec, and Plante de Gaillac, as well as being confused with a more common variety Folle Blanc.

No wonder there was confusion about it's identity in Australia. The name Irvine's white was given after the Great Western pioneer Hans Irvine who planted it to make sparkling wine. The same variety was grown under the name 'Sercial' in South Australia. Sercial is actually the name of an unrelated Portuguese variety used in Madiera for fortified wine.

Unfortunately these varieties are being overlooked by many companies for the more marketable and familiar names.

With Ondenc/irvines white apparently gone form the Great Western Region it seems that the last bastain of Ondenc is Langmiel in the Barossa.

In the Pyrenees region Montara nearby had both Ondenc and Chasselas, but I think both have been removed.

To their credit Best's still have the Nursery block with 37 or so varieties that have been there for yonks.

Sep 12, 2014
Not disappearing completely
by: Jelle Kaspersma

Jelle comments: For your information, Domaine Plageoles in Gaillac still produces and markets a dry Ondenc wine called Domaine Plageoles-Ondenc 2013.
It sells for around 13 Euros and can be bought via '1jour1vin'

You may want to enquire if they know of any producer of sparkling Ondenc wines exists in Gaillac.

Darby says I just checked my copy of Wine Grapes by Jancis et al and I noticed that it said "Neglected variety persists in south west France and in isolated spots of Australia."

Thanks Jelle, I'll check out Domaine Plageoles.

Jun 18, 2015
Langmeil Ondenc
by: Ruedi Homberger

I was at Langmeil recently, and was told they had ripped out
their Ondenc plantings as well. A sad day if true.

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