Unfolding the “Burgunder” Wine Grapes

In German speaking countries – Germany, Austria, and eastern part of Switzerland – you find a lot of wines called something with “Burgunder”. Working with the 200+ Wine Grapes app content, this name appeared numerous times. A scan of the database gave no less than 98 (!) hits, involving 13 different grape varieties, prompting for an in-depth lock.

Below an extract from the “Burgunder” article which has been distributed to subscribers of the 200+ Wine Grapes app in the Weekly Newsletter on July 1 (2017).

From “Bourgogne” in France to “Burgunder” in Central Europe

As the name indicates, a lot of the understanding has to do with how the involved varieties can be linked to France’s Burgundy region. However, the focus in this article is on Germany, Austria and to some extent, Switzerland.

Spitz River in Wachau, Niederösterreich (Lower Austria)

The thirteen varieties are
– Blaufränkisch (6 hits)
– Chardonnay (6 hits)
– Chasselas (1 hit)
– Elbling Weiss (1 hit)
– Gamay (3 hits)
– Jacquez (1 hit)
– Melon (2 hits)
– Pinot Blanc (22 hits)
– Pinot Gris (12 hits)
– Pinot Meunier (1 hit)
– Pinot Noir (36 hits)
– Pinot Noir Précoce (2 hits)
– Schiava Grossa (2 hits)

Five of the varieties involved are of the Pinot family, which is thought to have emerged in Burgundy. Pinot Noir, for example, has been documented there as early as the late fourteenth century.

This blog post does not cover all “hits” in the list above. A forthcoming post will deal with other spellings such as “Burgundac“, “Burgundski“, and “Burgundske“, to mention some of them.

Furthermore, this blog post is an extraction. If you are interested in reading the full article, download the 200+ Wine Grapes app and become a Subscriber.




The basic form “Burgunder” is used as synonym for three different grapes: Blaufränkisch, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Noir.

If you are having a wine from Romania, the Burgunder is likely to be a Blaufränkisch.

If the wine instead is from Germany, Switzerland or Austria, the Burgunder is likely to be a Pinot Noir. It could also be a Pinot Gris. However, if this would be the case it should be apparent from the wine’s colour.

“Burgunder” and Colour

Burgunder together with a colour is a the most common way of naming different varieties.

Pinot Gris

Blau Burgunder, Blauburgunder, Blauer Burgunder, Burgunder Blau, Burgunder Blauer are all synonyms for Pinot Noir.

Burgunder Roter and Roter Burgunder are synonyms used for both Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir, most likely because of two reasons. Being of the Pinot family, both Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir are thought to have originated in Burgundy. The other potential reason is that Pinot Gris is not grey as one, based on the name, could assume. Its grapes actually have a a rose, reddish colour.

Rother Burgunder however (notice the small but important difference in the spelling), is reported to be a synonym only for Pinot Noir.

Schwarzer Burgunder is used as a synonym for both Blaufränkisch and Pinot Noir.


Burgunder Weisser is a synonym for Chardonnay and for Pinot Blanc. In northern Italy, Chardonnay is known as Gelber Weissburgunder.

Weisser Burgunder, on the other hand, is used as a synonym for Chasselas in the eastern, German speaking part of Switzerland. Pinot Blanc, and Melon, can appear as Weisser Burgunder in Germany and Austria.

“Burgunder” and Time

Spatburgunder, Spätburgunder, Spätburgunder Blauer, Blauer Spätburgunder, and Später Burgunder, are all used in Germany or Austria as synonyms for Pinot Noir, with Spätburgunder being the most common one. It got this name as it is, compared to other Pinot varieties, a comparatively late ripening variety.


If you find this kind of wine grape information interesting, you need to take a closer look at the 200+ Wine Grapes app. Subscribers have full access to this kind of content and much more – every day in their smartphone/tablet, and regular additional insights through the weekly Newsletter.


Anders Hytter
Author of the 200+ Wine Grapes app