Traminer / Heida

Savagnin Blanc It has so many names you know it is ancient and major. Savagnin /Heida / Traminer / Païen - this is a grape variety you find all over the Alpine regions and further afield. Together with Pinot Noir and Gouais blanc the foundation of much modern wine.

For me it is one of the great white wine varieties, up there with Chardonnay and Riesling, producing great wines on several continents and able to go from sparkling to dessert with great ageing potential.

If you haven't tried the Swiss and Austrian versions, you owe it to yourself to try. Valais Heida in particular is an incredibly impressive expression of the grape. It's the altitude and the age, and perhaps the particular subvarieties they kept alive there.

PS: The more exhuberant Gewürztraminer is a closely related mutation but different enough to warrant its own page.

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  1. Heida du Valais
  2. Traminer Sandgrube
    2009
    £17.06
  3. Heida Tradition
    2018
    £43.75
    2017
    £46.81
    Pre Order, expected around
  4. Heida de Sierre, Maître de Chais, Réserve Spéciale
    Rating:
    100.0000%
  5. Traminer Spätlese
    2008
    £16.80
    2012
    £19.39
    Rating:
    100.0000%
  6. Heida Mario Beerenauslese 2007, Chanton
    £55.88
  7. Traminer Spatlese 2008, TRIEBAUMER
    £16.80
  8. Traminer Sandgrube 2009, WEINGUT HOFBAUER
    £17.06
  9. Heida de Vex 2014, Germanier
    £39.20
  10. Heida de Vex Clos de la Couta 2018
    £39.23
  11. Heida Tradition 2017, Muses
    £46.81
    Backordered eta 31 Jul 2020
  12. Heida
    2010
    £40.74
  13. Heida Mario Beerenauslese
    2007
    £55.88
  14. Paien (Heida)
    Rating:
    90.0000%
  15. Traminer Sekt
  16. Eclat
    2015
    £65.74
    2014
    £65.74
  17. Wiener Gemischter Satz
    2017
    £21.56
    Rating:
    70.0000%
  18. Heida, Maître de Chais Réserve
  19. Heida 2010, Chanton
    £40.74
  20. Traminer Spatlese 2012, TRIEBAUMER
    £19.39
  21. Eclat
    £65.74
  22. Eclat 2015, Valais Mundi, Provins
    £65.74
  23. Heida Tradition 2018 Domaine des Muses
    £43.75
  24. Heida de Vex "Clos de la Couta"
    2018
    £39.23
    2014
    £39.20
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Origins and Connections

The origins of this grape are not without debate. It most likely began in north east France and south west Germany, though some believe that it is from Egypt and others, with no botanical proof, say that it is not from Vitis Vinifera but from Vitis Aminea or even other strains of Vitis.

Heida is the parent or grandparent of an impressive line-up of offspring, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Silvaner, Neuburger, Grüner Veltliner, Verdelho and Traminette, among many others. It is related to Pinot but the parent/offspring relationship cannot be defined.

In Switzerland

In Switzerland it is grown only in the Valais, principally in the vineyards around Visperterminen at an altitude of some 1100 metres above sea level, where the Föhn, a warm southerly wine, helps ripen the grapes. This is a truly old variety. The first written records date from 1586 when it was referred to as "Heyda", but it has been in use much longer. Indeed, the name Heida itself is local patois for "ancient" or "from an earlier time" and the French name "Païen" descends from "Pagan", i.e. before Christianity.

Plantings today are still limited with just some 15 hectares in commercial production. In the vineyard, Heida's grapes are small and compact and are yellowish and aromatic. It ripens mid-season, later than Chasselas, but before Petite Arvine. Heida makes, in my view, some of the best Valaisan white wines which can be complex and powerful, with exotic fruit flavours including quince. Heida ages quite well and should last 5 years without problems. They can also be versatile when food matching, going well with many vegetable dishes, cold meats and fish.

In Austria

Most Traminer in Austria is either Roter Traminer or Gewurtztraminer. There is, however, a rare grape called Gelber Traminer. Do not expect to find any Traminer on our website. Have a look at the details for each wine and see what it really is!

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