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Bondola grapes

by Dec 5, 20160 comments

Bondola is a red wine producing grape variety grown in Ticino part in Switzerland-Italy border.


This variety of grape is mainly used to make traditional wines by small wineries. It is known by a few other names such as Bundula, Crnina, Bonda, Brilegler, Bistriska and Bondoletta.

The wines are best consumed well as they may develop false taste on aging. Varietals made from this grape are very rare to find. The grape variety has lately been very unpopular and is therefore not grown in any other part of the world.

They are used for making table wines by the name of ‘nostrano’ which means ‘ours’ in Italian. The wine is like by of the local population because of its fairly high acidity while some do not like it because of its low alcohol content.

Wine grape varieties

It is not very costly and can be bought by a majority of the people. Though it is not famous outside Switzerland, in Ticino it is sold in almost every wine shop.

Some old winemakers also make a few quantity of varietal from Bondola grape. There wines are not sold on a large scale because there is not special taste which makes it different from other wines.

The grape has been growing in the area from quite a long time and should therefore be preserved for the next generations too.

Origin of Bondola

Bondola is among those grape varieties which has absolutely no traces about their origin. It was once counted among the common grape in the area, but now the use and the production has gone so down that it is possible that the variety will seize to exist in the coming few years.

Since the introduction of better grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the year 1906 the producers are switching very quickly and as a result there are only a few vineyards left cultivating Bondola grape variety.

Earlier, many grape varieties were found to be similar to Bondola, but later tests confirmed that there is no exact relation of Bondola to any other grape variety.

Merlot had the same properties with a better yield and more resistance to vine hazards and was therefore opted to be used instead of Bondola grape variety.


Bondola wine grapes are dark skinned. The berries are medium to large sized and bunches are not very compact. The berries do not ripen very early and so the vine is saved from spring frost.

The wines made from this grape give flavours and aroma of cherries. The wines do not age well and are to be consumed young. The acidity of the wine is high while the alcohol content is not so high.

This aspect has kept the wine alive in the market of Ticino. It is most popularly used as a table wine by the local people. It has not yet reached to areas outside Switzerland as grapes with better taste and yield showing similar properties as Bondola grape were introduced.

No more experiments on the wine are being done to explore its taste. The wine is merely used as a table wine in the region!

Food Pairing

The wines made from this grape variety grape have a high acidity making it easy to be paired with almost all food items.

You can enjoy the flavour of the wine with roasted cheese with thyme-infused stuffing.

It can also be enjoyed with sheep’s milk cheese and potato chips.

A photo posted by Veronica (@ancamanco_27) on

Salted dishes and sushi are among the dishes which can be enjoyed with Bondola grape wine. Roasted vegetables with haloumi cheese are often taken with this wine. Spaghetti can be taken with this wine.

It is also possible to consume the wine without taking in any other food item. The alcohol content is also not so high that you will need to neutralise it.

The grape has been in the records of grapes for many years and was once planted in a number of areas in Switzerland.

The grape will soon extinguish and so if you get a chance to visit the area, you must try the wine so as to keep it in our memory. The wine is rarely available on the internet to be order if you do see chances of visiting the area.

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Michael Bredahl

Michael Bredahl

Wine Writer

Michael is an online enthusiast, with a lot of knowledge about online marketing. Traveling around the world to hunt for the perfect wine. Latest on Sicily, where Etna has a huge impact on the taste, which is strong with a bitter aftertaste for the youngest wines, but older wines are fantastic. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one the passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂

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