Navigation

Pinot Gris

A popular legend claims that around 1565 the vines were brought from the town of Tokaj (Hungary) by Baron Lazare Schwendi, who served the House of Austria in the struggle against the Turks.

As a landowner in Baden and Alsace, he ordered to grow these plants in Kientzheim (which was his castle owned by the Saint Etienne Brotherhood). At that time, the winemaking regions in Europe all dreamt of producing the Tokay de Hongrie, a very popular Hungarian wine produced from the Furmint grape variety.

However, according to several works of ampelographists, it is likely that the variety brought by Lazarus Schwendi did not match the famous Hungarian wine. The Pinot Gris, from Burgundy, renowned for its qualities and ability to produce very concentrated wine, later substituted it and was named the Grauer Tokayer.

Apart from its ampelographic and gustative qualities, it is its troubled history of various denominations and constant name changing that has attracted the attention of the winemaking world. Initially called the Grauer Tokayer before 1870, the Pinot Gris was later renamed Tokay Gris, Tokay d’Alsace, Tokay Pinot Gris and finally, as of 1st April 2007, the Pinot Gris.