Pinot Gris - Rotgiplfer - Traminer / Heida

Pinot Gris - Rotgiplfer - Traminer / Heida

Our Pinot Gris, or Malvoisie, comes from Austria and Switzerland. Josef Lentsch does remarkable things with the grape on its own and as part of a number of blends ranging from Auslese right through to Trockenbeernauslese. Heidi Schröck uses it in dry whites as do the Caves des Coteaux in Switzerland.

Pinot Gris, when made well, is a full-bodied wine which has a range of flavours that can go from ripe tropical fruit notes of melon and mango to some botrytis-influenced flavours. There are some excellent sweet Malvoisie wines made in Switzerland.

In the UK this grape is often overlooked or seen as an alternative to drinking Chardonnay in the summer. Please do not make that mistake. Almost as versatile as Riesling, Pinot Gris gives a wonderful opportunity to widen your wine knowledge and taste.

To prevent confusion and to preserve individuality, it was agreed that the word ‘Tokay’ could only refer to Hungarian grapes used in the making of that amazing sweet wine. So from 2007, both Tokay d’Alcase and the Tokay Pinot Gris became, straightforwardly, Pinot Gris. Yes, it is the same grape as Pinot Grigio although the two names can give a reasonable general description as to styles made with this grape, in a similar way to Syrah/Shiraz.

Grid List

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7 Item(s)

  • V
    Spätrot Rotgipfler Classic

    Spätrot Rotgipfler Classic Weingut Christian Fischer

    The classic Thermenregion blend - aromatic and fresh
  • V

    Beerenauslese Josef Lentsch

    Lentsch's sweet wines are legend
  • V
    Polymnie Séduction Or

    Polymnie Séduction Or Domaine des Muses

    An incredible dessert wine by our special darling Robert Taramarcaz. One of the best in Switzerland
  • V

    Zierfandler-Rotgipfler Stift Klosterneuberg

    A unique blend from Thermenregion, as rare and interesting as it gets
  • V
    Grosse Reserve Weiss

    Grosse Reserve Weiss Spaetrshuberot-Gebeshuber

    Serious Oaked White.
  • V
    Spätrot-Rotgipfler Spätlese

    Spätrot-Rotgipfler Spätlese Stift Klosterneuberg

    Mature dry Spätrot Rotgipfler
  • V

    Eclat Valais Mundi

    No compromise wine - oaked yet pure light and infinitely subtle.

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7 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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