Back
Thank you so much for your support :) Log in for special offers!

Gwäss (Gouais Blanc) - St Laurent

Gwäss (Gouais Blanc) - St Laurent

Gwäss, or Gouais Blanc, can easily be called the ancestral Casanova grape. It is one of a few grape varieties that seem to appear in the family or just about every interesting variety out there. And until not that long ago, it'd been lost. And it was rescue, as these things go, by stubborn Swiss mountain winemakers.

Gwäss is indeed a rare grape. In 1994 a mere 1.35 hectares were cultivated commercially in the Valais. Gwäss is the name given in Haut-Valais, Switzerland, for Gouais Blanc, also known as Président in France. Confusingly, it has a second Valasian name – Noir Valais.

Light yellow in colour, it has a lemon scented nose with grapefruit and green apple on the palate with some herbal notes and potentially high levels of acidity. It can age very well and the maturity acts to soften the acidity. Chanton’s 1991 is a particularly good example. Unfortunately, you will have to visit their vineyard to beg a sample!

Gwäss is a white grape variety that is believed to have originated in Croatia and which is important as the ancestor of many modern French and German wine varieties. This may have been the grape given to the Gauls by Probus (Roman Emperor 276-282), who overturned Domitian's decree banning grape growing north of the Alps. By the Middle Ages it was the most widely grown white grape in north east France and in central Europe. Gouais blanc was the grape of the peasantry - indeed the name Gouais derives from the old French ‘gou’, a term of derision befitting its traditional status as the grape of the peasants. Normally growing on flat land next to the better slopes where the nobility grew Pinot.

Having been widely grown in proximity to Pinot, the two varieties had many opportunities to cross and Gwäss is the parent to over eighty other varieties, the better known of which are modern day Chardonnay, Aligoté, Auxerrois, Gamay, Colombard and Riesling. The name Gwäss was first recorded in 1823. It's a vigorous high-yielding variety and traditionally produced wines with high acidity. Some stories tell that the Gwäss vines were planted around the edges of fields with other vines to protect them from thieves, the grapes being so acidic it put them off!

Grid List

Set Descending Direction

8 Item(s)

  • St. Laurent Classic Weingut Christian Fischer

    Our reference for St Laurent
  • St. Laurent Reserve Stift Klosterneuberg

    Rich and smooth St Laurent

    Out of stock

  • Grosse Reserve Rot Spaetrshuberot-Gebeshuber

  • Gwäss Chanton Wein

    The casanova grape
  • Point Cuvée Weingut Nigl

  • Perle, Rosé Sekt Franz / Christine Netzl

    A mighty sparkling rosé made from St. Laurent.
  • Patronis Stift Klosterneuberg

    Created for the 900th anniversary of the Klosterneuburg Monastery Winery.

    Out of stock

  • St Laurent Trift Weingut Kiss

    The more animal side of St Laurent

Grid List

Set Descending Direction

8 Item(s)

OUR WINES ARE CHOSEN PERSONALLY ONE BY ONE.

  • 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

With its somewhat low yield, the variety is considered difficult in the vineyard and was not always appreciated. It needs good sites with deep soils. It is sensitive during the flowering period and sensitive to late frost. It brings inconsistent yields.

Like many other grape varieties, the facts behind its origins are not easily confirmed. One theory suggests that cuttings were offered by a grape collector called Saint-Laurent du Var while another that it comes from Alsace, where it was known as Schwarzer. Although it shares its name with a number of French villages, there is nothing to suggest that they had anything to do with the naming of this grape. Most likely is the idea mentioned above that it was named after the patron saint of chefs, whose patronal festival coincides with the traditional day on which the berries change colour. It is one of the first grapes planted at the monastery of Klosterneuburg in their experimental vineyard in 1863.

If you are a fan of Zweigelt, remember that in 1922 Fritz Zweigelt combined the Sankt Laurent grape with Blaüfrankisch to create Zweigelt. It is a very good parent indeed.

It is not however closely related to Pinot. Sankt Laurent is not the same as Pinot Saint-Laurent. Although Sankt Laurent is not Pinot Noir, any more than Carménère is Merlot, there are some similarities to be found. If you like a meatier, gamier Pinot Noir, try this – you will not be disappointed!

ophisticated wine with a lingering finish that continues to delight for ages. It pairs well with most food, especially meats and as many commentators advise, those foods which you shouldn’t really eat like barbeques, cheese and anything fatty.

Contact Us