The white grape variety comes from Alsace. Synonyms are Breisgau Riesling, Colmer, Alsatian, Ettlinger, Gelber Ortlieber, Knackerle, Kleiner Gelber Ortlieber, Kleiner Räuschling, Kniperlé, Libiza, Ortlieber, Petit Räuschling, Reichenweiherer, Rungauer, Strasbourg, Türckheimer, Weisser Ortlieber(Germany); Bela Kavka, Belina Drobna, Beli Kleschiz, Drobni Kleshiz, Mali Javor (Croatia); Petit Mielleux, Rochelle, Rochelle Blanche (France). Despite apparently indicative synonyms or morphological similarities, it should not be confused with the varieties Folle Blanche, Fütterer, Pinot Blanc or Räuschling. According to DNA analyses carried out in 2013, it is a presumably natural cross between Pinot x Gouais Blanc (White Heunisch). The variety was a crossbreeding partner in the new Gutknipperlé, Neron and Triomphe d'Alsace breedings.
From 1780 onwards, it was exported to Baden-Württemberg by the winegrower Johann Michael Ortlieb (1730-1807), who came from the Alsatian community of Riquewihr, and was known as Ortlieber after him. The medium-ripening, high-yielding vine is resistant to winter frost, but is susceptible to botrytis and chlorosis. It produces soft, simply structured white wines. After a peak towards the end of the 18th century, the stock declined continuously. Today, the variety has practically disappeared from the vineyards of Alsace and Württemberg. In 2010, only 0.2 hectares were designated in Alsace (Haut-Rhin). In Austria it is cultivated by the organic vineyard Alois Raubal in Gumpoldskirchen (Thermenregion).
Source: Wine Grapes / J. Robinson, J. Harding, J. Vouillamoz / Penguin Books Ltd. 2012
Pictures: Ursula Brühl, Doris Schneider, Julius Kühn Institute (JKI)