Auxerrois in Weinsberg, Germany
|Color of berry skin||Blanc|
|Also called||Auxerrois, Pinot Auxerrois (more)|
Auxerrois blanc (pronounced: [o.sɛʁ.wa blɑ̃]) or Auxerrois Blanc de Laquenexy is a white wine grape that is important in Alsace, and is also grown in Germany and Luxembourg. It is a full sibling of Chardonnay that is often blended with the similar Pinot blanc.
Auxerrois blanc is thought to have originated in Lorraine, rather than near Auxerre in the Yonne. Recent DNA fingerprinting suggests that it is a cross between Gouais blanc and Pinot noir, the same ancestry as Chardonnay. The name Auxerrois blanc has actually been used as a synonym for Chardonnay in the Moselle region in France, which explains why there is also a longer name (Auxerrois Blanc de Laquenexy) for the grape variety.
Distribution and Wines
Seldom seen in the New World, a little is grown in North America and South Africa.
France's 1,950 hectares (4,800 acres) of Auxerrois blanc are mostly in Alsace, with some in the Côtes de Toul of Lorraine. It is mostly blended into wines called "Pinot blanc" (which may actually consist of Auxerrois blanc, the variety Pinot blanc, Pinot gris and Pinot noir vinified white). It is an important component of Crémant d'Alsace.
Germany and Luxembourg
In Germany and Luxembourg it is known simply as Auxerrois. In Germany 218 hectares (539 acres) were grown in 2012, mainly in the states of Rhineland-Palatinate (135 hectares (334 acres)) and Baden-Württemberg (72 hectares (178 acres)). The main growing areas were Baden (wine region)(71 hectares (175 acres)) and Palatinate (wine region) (69 hectares (171 acres)).
Auxerrois is a cool climate varietal and there are only five vineyards known to grow it in Oregon: Ribbon Springs Vineyard (Adelsheim Vineyard); Zenith Vineyard, Russell-Grooters Vineyard on Savannah Ridge (Carlton Cellars), Sunnyside Vineyard, and Havlin Vineyard. David Adelsheim was influential in introducing Auxerrois to Oregon in the 1990s. Chateau Fontaine grows Auxerrois on the Leelanau peninsula in Michigan Bel Lago Vineyards and Winery, located on the Leelanau Peninsula of Michigan, introduced Auxerrois to Michigan in 1987.
In Canada, Auxerrois is grown on Vancouver Island in British Columbia where it is successfully blended with another cold climate grape Ortega (Dragonfly Hill Vineyard) and Chardonnay (a Bacchus blend by Alderlea Vineyards). It is also grown as a single varietal in the Okanagan wine country by five or six different producers, but most notably Gray Monk Vineyards, just north of Kelowna, who were responsible for bringing the grape over from Alsace in the 70's. In Ontario, the Essex Region wineries Viewpointe Estate) and Oxley Estate produce single varietal Auxerrois, and Pelee Island Winery blends Auxerrois with Chardonnay. Château des Charmes winery was the first to plant Auxerrois in the mid 1980s.
A few vineyards in the United Kingdom grow Auxerrois, notably Davenport Vineyards, Danebury Vineyard and a'Becketts Vineyard. Auxerrois is used to produce still and sparkling wines, often blended with other varieties. Despite success with this grape variety for the production of sparkling wines, Auxerrois is not included in the UK quality sparkling wine PDO scheme.
Vine and Viticulture
It favours limestone soils, and ripens a little earlier than Pinot blanc. It has small compact bunches.
Arboisier, Arnaison blanc, Arnoison, Aubaine, Auvergnat blanc, Auvernas blanc, Auvernat blanc, Auxois blanc, Bargeois blanc, Beaunois, Blanc De Champagne, Breisgauer Sussling, Burgundi Feher, Chablis, Chardennet, Chardonnay blanc, Chatey Petit, Chaudenet, Claevner, Clevner Weiss, Epinette blanche, Epinette De Champagne, Ericey blanc, Feher Chardonnay, Feherburgundi, Feinburgunder, Gamay blanc, Gelber Weissburgunder, Gentil blanc, Grosse Bourgogne, Klawner, Klevanjka Biela, Lisant, Luisant, Luizannais, Luizant, Luzannois, Maconnais, Maurillon blanc, Melon blanc, Melon D'Arbois, Moreau blanc, Morillon blanc, Moulon, Noirien blanc, Petit Chatey, Petit Sainte-marie, Pino Shardone, Pinot Blanc A Cramant, Pinot Blanc Chardonnay, Pinot Chardonnay, Plant De Tonnerre, Romere, Romeret, Rouci Bile, Rousseau, Roussot, Rulander Weiss, Sainte Marie Petite, Sardone, Shardone, Weiss Silber, Weissedler, Auxerrois blanc de Laquenexy and Auxerrois de Laquenexy.
- Pinot gris - known as Auxerrois gris
Notes and references
- Robinson, Jancis (2006). The Oxford Companion to Wine, third edition. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-860990-6.
- Maul, E.; Eibach, R. (1999-06-00). "Vitis International Variety Catalogue". Information and Coordination Centre for Biological Diversity (IBV) of the Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food (BLE), Deichmanns Aue 29, 53179 Bonn, Germany. Archived from the original on 27 April 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-05. Check date values in:
- Robinson, Jancis Vines, Grapes & Wines Mitchell Beazley 1986 ISBN 1-85732-999-6