The Monarch grape, also known as FR 487-88 R (the number 88 because it was first crossed in 1988), is a blue grape, a cross between Merzling and Donfelder which has good resistance to diseases, a so-called PIWI (pilzwiderstandsfähig) variety. It is more frost resistant than most grapes, but still susceptible to spring frost, so in the most northern wine regions it is normally grown very close to the coast. Like many varieties grown in Scandinavia it was first created at the National Institute of Viticulture, Freiburg, Germany.
The leaves are large and dark green and the grapes are medium sized to large, slightly pyramidal in shape, in fairly large bunches.
Wine from the Monarch grape has an intense red colour and the aroma brings to mind strawberries and raspberries. In taste, it is reminiscent of Pinot Noir, with a rich and fruity taste, rich in tannins, with a clear hint of red berries. Monarch is used both as a single variety wine and in blends with fruity red wines from other varieties.