The red grape variety comes from Switzerland. Synonyms are Bistershna Zhernina, Bistriska Crnina, Bondola Nera, Brieger, Briegler, Bundula, Longobardo and Mohrenkönig. It was first mentioned by the Swiss naturalist Heinrich Rudolf Schinz (1777-1861) in 1785 as a "fine grape variety". In Switzerland, the variety is counted among the Old Growths grape variety group. According to DNA analysis carried out in 2005, the Briegler variety cultivated in German-speaking areas of Switzerland is identical. The two varieties Bondoletta and Hitzkircher have been developed from presumably natural crosses Bondola x Completer. Therefore, the two were often confused with Bondola. The white variety Bondola Bianca, on the other hand, is not a colour mutation, but is independent.
The medium maturing vine is susceptible to botrytis. It produces fruity, colourful, rather low-acid red wines with aromas of cherries, blueberries and violets with a slightly bitter finish. It used to be widespread in the north of the Swiss canton of Ticino, but was replaced by Merlot. It is used in Ticino for the traditional red wine Nostrano. In 2010 it covered 13 hectares of vineyards (Kym Anderson).
Source: Wine Grapes / J. Robinson, J. Harding, J. Vouillamoz / Penguin Books Ltd. 2012
Pictures: Ursula Brühl, Doris Schneider, Julius Kühn Institute (JKI)