The History of Monica

The origin of the Monica grape is controversial, but one of the most likely theories is that this variety, coming from Spain, was introduced in Sardinia in the XI century AD during the Aragonese period. In some areas it is called, in fact, “Grape of Spain.” Monica developed initially in Alghero and then spread to the rest of the island thanks to the work of the Camaldolese monks who began to cultivate this variety close to their monasteries. The name “Monica” with which today is known as both the name of the vine and the wine, came in fact, from the Camaldoli monks. A lesser accredited theory is that the origin of the grape dates back to the Mori invasion in Sardinia.

Synonyms of Monica:
Monaca, Monica di Spagna, Mora, Niedda mora.

The Monica Vine

Monica is one of the most widespread red grape varieties in Sardinia. Monica leaves are medium sized, orbicular, pentalobed, light green in color, with regular toothed edges. The surface is blistered and the bottom is arachnoid. The cluster is quite large, semi-loose, cylindrical, often winged, with medium-sized, dark purple grapes. The skin is slightly waxy, with a medium thickness, and the juice is colorless with a neutral taste. Monica grapes mature during the second half of September. It is a moderately vigorous vine that requires average expansion training systems and short pruning. The yield is constant and quite high and the vines adapt well to different climatic conditions, even if the best results come from warm climates with dry, calcareous and clay soils. It is resistant to adverse weather conditions and Oidium, while less to the downy mildew.

Monica Wine

“Monica di Sardegna” wine must contain at least 85% Monica grapes and a maximum of 15% other non-aromatic, recommended and authorized Sardinian red grapes. All grapes must be produced within the territory of Sardinia.
The grapes used for wine making, must ensure a natural minimum alcoholic content of 10,5%. Only traditional, established, oenological practices offering the distinctive characteristics of “Monica di Sardegna” are accepted and the wine cannot be put on the market before 31 March of the following year of the harvest.
“Monica di Sardegna” wine is characterized by a light, brilliant, ruby red, tending to garnet with aging. Its scent is intense, ethereal and pleasant. Its taste is dry or sweet and savory, with a distinctive aftertaste. The minimum alcohol content must be 11% with a minimum total acidity of 4,5 g/l and a minimum net dry extract of 18 g/l.