Ondenc has given rise to popular etymologies such as the one referring to the undulating (ondoyant) character of the foliage of this grape variety under the effect of the wind: “white wave (onde) shivering in the autan wind”. Ampelographer Tallavignes (in Viala and Vermorel, 1910) states “the name Ondenc means undulating, watery; indeed the juice of Ondenc is abundant and clear.
Ondenc vines have white cottony buds with pinkish edging and young fluffy leaves with white cottony underside. Mature quinquelobed leaves have deep lateral sinuses with overlapping edges around the median lobe and closed lyre petiolar sinus. Its medium bunches have ovoid grape, which become translucent at maturity.
Ondenc’s early sprouting makes it sensitive to spring frosts. It progressed in Gaillac region after phylloxera because it was less sensitive the ravage than Mauzac variety. Given its early bud burst, this variety is very popular with predators.
Today it is only present in Gaillac where it produces excellent but rare sweet wines with a late harvest. Moreover, the distillation of its wines can create good, quality brandies.
Production area: 19.4 ha (50 acres)