Savagnin (sa-va-YEN)

Ancient variety indigenous to the area covering northeast France and southwest Germany. One of the ancestral “founder varieties” that gave rise to scores of others throughout Europe including verdelho, gruner veltliner, sauvignon blanc, and chenic blanc. Also known as traminer in Germany and in Italy’s Trentino Alto Adige for a clone known as traminer aromatico. Savagnin has a genetic relationship with pinot noir—either as its progeny or its parent but geneticists are not sure which.

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