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Melon de Bourgogne grapes

by | Oct 28, 2016

Melon or Melon de Bourgogne is a type of white grape which is famous for its use in Muscadet white wine.

Melon de Bourgogne grapes

In the U.S.A, according to the Federal Laws, the Muscadet is prevented from being used by the wines produced by America; only the shortened name ‘Melon’ and full name of the grape can be used.

Wine grape varieties

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Origin and History of Melon de Bourgogne

This grape is particularly grown in the Loire Valley region in France. It is also grown in the regions of North America. As suggested by the name, Burgundy is the origin of this grape and this was produced there until the 18th century after which demolition was ordered.

In the vineyards around the Loire and Nantes, however, in 1709, the strong winter damaged several vines that a fresh variant was required, and then this grape was developed.

The grape is related by its name that the Melon grape is simply called as Muscadet.  From that time, it has been solely used for the production of the dry Muscadet, which is completely made up from the Melon de Bourgogne grape.

The analysis of DNA disclosed that Melon de Bourgogne is a hybrid formed by crossing Gouais Blanc and Pinot Blanc. In 2007, this grape is cultivated in Oregon, and commonly known as Melon.

Perennial Vintners introduced this grape into Washington, Bainbridge Island, 6 miles from Seattle.

Regions Where it is Grown

The Melon de Bourgogne grape wine is grown near the Atlantic Ocean in France in the Loire valley, near the city Nantes. In 1939, this grape was introduced in America by Georges de Latour.

The grape adapted to its California environs, anyhow marketing appeared as a challenge and over the years, this grape has become virtually unknown in the United States.

Currently there are only few wineries that make wines involving Melon de Bourgogne grape in the composition.

Synonyms of this Grape

Melon de Bourgogne is famous by different names such as Biaune, Auxerrois Gros, Bourgogne blanche, Blanc Verde, Clozier, Feuille Ronde, Gros Auxerrois, Gamay Blanc a Feuilles Rondes, Feher Nagyburgundi, Gamay Blanc, Gros Blanc, Game Kruglolistnyi, Grosse Saint Marie, Malin blanc, Lyonnais, Mele, Mourlon, Perry, Meurlon, Muscadet, Melon, Lyonnaise Blanche, Petit Bourgogne, Petouin, Petit Biaune, Weisser Burgunder, Picarneau, Roussette Basse, Petoin and Spater Weisser Burgunder.

Characteristics of the Grape

In the vineyard, the grape buds vigorously and early, which means that even in the starting of spring frosts, a second budding can still produce a good amount of yield.

Its main vulnerability is its sensitivity to mildew, though this distress is more common in humid, warm environments, and this is a cold-climate grape.

Characteristics of the Grape Wine

This grape variety has high acidity naturally, but can fight to gain nice concentration of flavors. The best wines exhibit citrus and apple flavors with mineral characteristics.

Sometimes, a saltiness can be experienced which suggests the history of the region’s maritime. In the winery, the trend is to put the best grapes to extended contact of lees and barrel maturation.

This leads to wines of greater complexity, depth and texture, however, it is a more costly process than the fresh-and-ready process, and this is seen in the wine’s price.

Widely famous as the wine to have with seafood, this grape has a range of styles that include minerals, fruit and quiet earthy aromas. To increase the aroma profile, several Muscadet wines are aged sur lie or on the less for an extended time after fermentation.

Sur lie is the best method to produce finest Muscadet wines. This sur lie aging increases in the body of wine, which leads to a fuller mouth feel. This gives an extra layer of creaminess that pairs perfectly with the citrus and salty taste of Melon.

Fruit aromas are tree fruits such as peach, apple and pear and occasionally tropical fruits like limes and lemons.

Alcohol is generally less than 12%, permitting the wine to maintain balance. Muscadet is produced to be a young wine, while the profiles of the flavor are strong.

Food Pairings with this Grape

This grape can be paired with food items such as Goat’s cheese and rocket salad and Middle Eastern lemon lentil soup.


Michael Bredahl

Michael Bredahl

Wine Writer

I have been online since it all began, with blogging and creating websites. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one of my passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂

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