The white grape variety comes from Germany, Synonyms or colored game types are among others Gelber Orléans, Gros Riesling, Grüner Orléans, Hartheunisch, Harthengst, Orleaner, Orléans Jaune, Orléanstraube, Orleanzer, Orlänzsch, Weißer Waldscher and Weißer Orléans. The attribute "hard" refers to the thick-skinned berry skins of the productive vine. It produces alcoholic and full-bodied, acidic white wines with a variety of aromas of dried apricot, herbs, hay and beeswax. According to DNA analysis there is no (previously suspected) connection to the Heunisch variety ( Gouais Blanc ), although some synonyms seem to indicate this. After Lambert von Babo (1790-1862) at the behest of the emperor Charlemagne (742-814) imported from Orléans and on Rudesheimer Berg have been planted, which was later also called "Berg Orléans". There is no evidence of this. Varieties of this name have never been mentioned in the Orléans area.
The variety is one of the earliest detected Frankish Sorts. The German botanist Hieronymus mentioned it for the first time buck (1498-1554) in 1539 in his famous "Kreütter book" under the name Harthinsch. It was previously widespread in Germany and was often used in the mixed sentence together with other varieties such as Elbling, White Heisch ( Gouais Blanc ) Riesling, Ruländer ( Pinot gris ) Sylvaner and Traminer grown. The vine was very popular due to its high yield. Friedrich Bassermann-Jordan (1872-1959) writes in his well-known book "History of Viticulture" that the Riesling originally Rhine native varieties Trollinger ( Schiava Grossa ) and ousted Orléans.
According to the “wine book” by agricultural scientist Dr. Wilhelm Hamm (1820-1880) from 1865 was in many prominent locations in the Orléans until the middle of the 19th century palatinate planted. The Forster single layers Jesuitengarten. Kirchenstück and Enormous were planted with a mixed set of Orleans, Traminer and Riesling. The legendary 1811ercomet vintages was probably not a pure Riesling. On Johannisberg Castle 1857 Orleans wines were still available auction, The last known Orleans wine was made in Rüdesheim in 1921. After that, the last vineyards were cleared and the variety was long considered extinct.
Helmut did not succeed until the 1980s Becker (1927-1989) in Geisenheim from overgrown sticks on Rudesheimer Berg to breed the variety again. At the beginning of the 1990s, trial plantings took place in Laumersheim (Palatinate), based on seven old vines from the Cistercian monastery Eberbach were used. The Rüdesheim winemaker Bernhard Breuer created a small vineyard with 500 sticks in 1995 and 1996. The virgin wine came on the market in 2002 and was a rarity in wine history. Likewise, a wine from the winery clippers generated. In November 2008 the biologist Andreas Young in the single vineyard disibodenberg monastery Racknitz found five overgrown old sticks of the Orléans, which are probably over 500 years old and thus among the oldest vines count worldwide. No inventory was recorded in 2010.
Source: Wine Grapes / J. Robinson, J. Harding, J. Vouillamoz / Penguin Books Ltd. 2012
Images: Ursula Brühl, Doris Schneider, Julius Kühn Institute (JKI)