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Plantscher - Traminer / Heida

Plantscher - Traminer / Heida

Plantscher, also known as Bordeaux Blanc or Gros Bourgogne, is a very rare grape despite having an impressive and much admired offspring in Hungarian Furmint. This has led to the suggestion that it may originate from Hungary rather than France as the synonyms may suggest.

Plantscher is only grown in Switzerland and only grown there in the region of Valais. Not only that, it is only found in one vineyard cultivated by the saviour of so many ultra-rare varieties - Josef-Marie Chanton. Of course his son, Mario, has now succeeded his father at Chanton and continues his legacy with just 0.75 hectares of this ultra-rare grape.

The wines are soft with floral notes, chamomile and honeysuckle They have s moderate acidity as preferred by the Swiss.

According to recent genetic research by Dr. José Vouillamoz, Plantscher has Furmint as a parent and is a grandchild of the prolific Gwäss. The name Plantscher comes from either an older Romanesque dialect word "blâtsyer", or from the French "blanchier" meaning white.

What we call Plantscher is a large grape with whitish berries and a good yield. In order to produce good quality the yield must be very limited. It is described as a more authentic, more resistant Bergler. Rather restrained in youth, broad finish with mineral notes.

Given the relationship with Furmint it is possible that Plantscher originated in Hungary, although we do not know this for certain.

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  • Plantscher Chanton Wein

    Plantscher is a descendent of Furmint. This is an aromatic wine mostly enjoyed with cheese.
  • Heida Chanton Wein

    Mouth-wateringly fantastic. A taste of summer meadows.

    Out of stock

  • Heida du Valais Badoux Vins

    Heida is the high altitude variety in Switzerland. This mature one is extraordinary

    Out of stock

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3 Item(s)

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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