The white grape variety is a new breed between Pinot Noir x Pirovano 1(Chasselas Rose x Muscat d'Hamburg), which was confirmed by DNA analyses published in 2012. Synonyms are Geisenheim 15-114, Schönberger and Schönburger Rose. The crossing of the sire variety was done by the Italian breeder Alberto Piròvano (1884-1973). The crossing with Pinot Noir was done by the German vine expert Dr. Heinrich Birk (1898-1973) in 1939 at the Geisenheim Research Institute (Rheingau). The name is derived from the castle Schönburg in Oberwesel in the Middle Rhine growing region. The plant variety protection took place in 1979.
The early to medium ripening vine has reddish berries. It is resistant to frost and both types of mildew. The variety produces a spicy, rather low-acid white wine with a discreet muscatel tone, somewhat similar to Gewürztraminer. Due to its special aromatic properties, it is called a so-called bouquet variety. It is cultivated in smaller quantities in Brazil (1 ha), Germany (20 ha, most of it in Rheinhessen), England (45 ha), Canada (11 ha) and South Africa. In 2010, a total of 69 hectares of vineyard area were designated with an increasing tendency (ten years previously it was 39 hectares).
Source: Wine Grapes / J. Robinson, J. Harding, J. Vouillamoz / Penguin Books Ltd. 2012
Pictures: Ursula Brühl, Doris Schneider, Julius Kühn Institute (JKI)