Cabernet Franc - Traminer / Heida - Marie-Therese Chappaz
I have a huge soft spot for Cabernet Franc.
It has many facets but is best known for pepper and tobacco characteristics.
Marie-Therese Chappaz' fantastic wines
Cabernet Franc is the parent of Cabernet Sauvignon (with Sauvignon Blanc) and also a parent of Merlot.
Cabernet Franc is often looked down on in favour of Cabernet Sauvignon, but this is an unfair asessment, based purely on availability. Cabernet Franc can be less generous than "CabSav" and so is less planted, and so people rarely get to taste it solo.
Each wine will bring something distinctive to your table.
Even the rarities are chosen for your drinking pleasure first.
From the winemakers they love most back in their home country.
You should feel safe discovering our wines so we guarantee them (see FAQs).
No constraint: No minimum order. Buy just what you want, whether a single bottle or thirty
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 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.
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!