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.
Thank you for following up. I have been very happy with the wines so far. There were some I did not like, but this was a matter of taste, rather than wine quality. I never knew much about Austrian wines before and I ordered some just to try them, but have been really impressed and have some new favourites like Zweigelt and Weissburgunder. I had Pinot Bianco before, but have never found it notable, while the Weissburgunder was amazing. I liked the Austrian Riesling, even though it was cheaper than relevant German wine and the Julienas Gamay was so nice. Overall I have been very happy quality and value and will order again.