Auxerrois or Pinot Auxerrois, as it is popularly known as, is a grape wine variety used typically in the production of white wines and also in some cases as a blending agent for the production of rose wines.
Auxerrois, which is one of the most important grapes of Alsace, is also grown in Luxembourg and Germany.
Being a full sibling to the Chardonnay variety, this grape is often blended with grapes similar to Pinot Blanc.
Synonyms for Auxerrois grape
This grape is known by a large number of synonyms which include – Auxerrois Blanc, Arboisier, Arnaison blanc, Auxerrois de Laquenexy, Arnoison, Melon D’Arbois, Aubaine, Auvernas blanc, Auvergnat blanc, Auxois blanc, Auvernat blanc, Burgundi Feher, Bargeois blanc, Blanc De Champagne, Beaunois, Breisgauer Sussling, Chablis, Chardennet, Chatey Petit, Chardonnay blanc, Chaudenet, Clevner Weiss, Claevner, Epinette blanche, Ericey blanc, Epinette De Champagne, Feher Chardonnay, Feinburgunder, Feherburgundi, Gamay blanc, Gentil blanc, Gelber Weissburgunder, Grosse Bourgogne, KlevanjkaBiela, Klawner, Lisant, Luizannais, Luizant, Luisant, Luzannois, Maconnais, Maurillon blanc, , Moulon, Noirien blanc, Plant De Tonnerre, Petit Sainte-marie, Petit Chatey, Pino Shardone, Morillon blanc, Pinot Blanc Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc A Cramant, Pinot Chardonnay, Melon blanc, Romere, Romeret, Rousseau, Roussot, Rouci Bile, Moreau blanc, Rulander Weiss, Sardone, Shardone, Sainte Marie Petite, Weiss Silber and Weissedler.
History and origin of Auxerrois grape
The origin of the Alsatian Auxerro is grape remains unclear, though there are theories which suggest that this grape variety might have originated in the region of Lorraine, rather than near Auxerre in Yonne.
Recent DNA finger printing carried on, on this grape suggests that this grape is a cross between the grape varieties Pinot Noir and Gouais Blanc.
In fact, this grape shares the same ancestry as the grape variety Chardonnay. In fact, the name Auxerrois Blanc is often used as a synonym for the Chardonnay grape variety in the French Moselle region, which probably explains the reason for the existence of longer names like Auxerrois Blanc de Laquenexy for this grape variety.
Outside of France this grape is typically grown in countries like Germany and Luxembourg with the main areas under cultivation being Rhineland Palatinate (334 acres or 135 hectares) and Baden Württemberg (178 acres or 72 hectares) and United States of America where it is grown in the cooler state of Oregon.
It is also grown in small numbers in the United Kingdom and used in the production of still and sparkling wines, while being blended with other varieties, in Canada, where it is grown on Vancouver Islands of British Columbia and often blended with other cold climate varieties like the Ortega and the Chardonnay.
There are also a handful of plantings in the North American continent and South Africa.
Vine and Viticulture for Auxerrois grape
This grape typically favours limestone soils, cooler climates and shows an earlier ripening tendency. This grape typically grows in small, compact bunches of round green berries.
Characteristics of Auxerrois wine
Auxerrois grapes which are used in the production of white wines typically form an integral part of the sparkling wines from Cremantd’Alsace.
In fact, in the sparkling wines, it is typically blended with grape varieties like Pinot Blanc and gives a low acidic, fresh flavour to the wine.
The relationship between Pinot Blanc and Auxerrois is quite interesting with the latter being allowed to be anonymously used in the varietal Pinot Blanc wine.
In fact, under the rules laid by AOC, it is absolutely legal to label 100 percent Auxerrois wine as Pinot Blanc.
As a wine, Auxerrois appears to be more full bodied and less crisp, when compared to Pinot Blanc. In fact, these two varieties of wines balance each other’s weaknesses.
The most traditional style of wine made from this blend is the Edelzwicker wine, where Auxerrois plays the dominant, but an unstated role.
Taste and Aromas of Auxerrois wine
When the yields of Auxerrois grapes are restricted, it produces fine quality wine with plenty of citrus flavours often giving a rich musky aroma.
This wine, when aged, typically gives a lot of honeyed flavour and deep colours. Weaker examples can taste quite vegetal & flabby, seemingly lacking intensity and appearing out of balance.
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