Gouais blanc: general information

general information managed by Istituto per la Protezione Sostenibile delle Piante - CNR
How to cite this source Schneider A., Ruffa P., Raimondi S., 2014. Gouais blanc. In: Italian Vitis Database, www.vitisdb.it, ISSN 2282-006X
acknowledgments Ager Foundation, Regione Piemonte
botanical information
Gouais blanc
type of origin
Vitis vinifera
variety group
not available
variety for
Registered in the National Catalogue
documented synonyms (5)
synonyms documented by the Istitution that appear with the eventual support of the literature
  • Blancio (Val Maira (Cuneo))
  • Liseiret (Alta valle Bormida (Cuneo))
  • Lisöra (Bobbiese (Piacenza))
  • Weisser Heunisch (Germania e Austria)
  • Preveiral (Pinerolese (Torino))
released clones
  • shoot
  • leaf
  • bunch
  • berry
Historical references

Liseiret is one of the Italian versions of the Gouais blanc, one of the most famous grape varieties as today the most neglected. As it is well known, its fame derives from being the parent, together with Pinot, of a large group of important varieties including Chardonnay and Gamay (Bowers et al., 1999). Besides, Gouais gave rise, or is genetically linked, to a truly impressive group of cultivars, both in France and in other European countries (Lacombe et al., 2013), so that it has rightly been considered a key grape of the European genetic heritage (Boursiquot et al., 2004). The historical references to Gouais blanc are remote, dating back to late 1200s when in France a "Goet" is mentioned (Berget, 1903). Gouais’ presence in the European vineyards subject to difficult climates was very wide in the past. This variety in fact, fertile and very rustic, is able to offer a generous yield, as often as mediocre, even in the less favourable years or environments.


As to its presence in Piedmont in the old times, the local synonym Liseiret used in Alta Val Bormida is historically reported as Oserietto or Useriello (Di Rovasenda, 1879). The same text mentions another local variety under the name of Blancho (White) dominant among the white grapes in the municipality of Stroppo (Val Maira). Blancho has been recently identified as Gouais. Moreover, numerous samples of a white Perveiral with a description fully responding to Gouais came to the Ampelographic Exhibition of Pinerolo (Provana di Collegno, 1883).

distribution & variation

If during the Middle Ages Gouais blanc was perhaps the most widespread grape variety in a vast area ranging from the Iberian Peninsula to the Balkans, today there are no traces of it except in its progeny, and in some rare plant or small vineyard usually located in the cool areas of central Europe or in the high altitudes (Switzerland and Austria). In north western Italy, Gouais has been recently planted in small experimental vineyards aimed to evaluate its revival in cultivation. Otherwise, it is present as few vines scattered in the old vineyards of the mountain areas. This proves a much wider presence at one time, especially in the sites less favourable to grapevine. In addition to the Piedmontese synonyms Liseiret, Preveiral and Blancho, we have also observed Gouais in Valtellina, and recognized it in the Lisora ​​recovered in the area of Bobbio (Piacenza), described by Fregoni and collaborators (2002), as well as in the Teilly from the Aosta Valley (Reinotti et al., 2010).


Gouais, therefore, was the grape variety that most was adapted to the hostile mountain environments, displaying this aptitude also in Italy. In mountain areas it was used to give an alcoholic beverage to be consumed by the family. The wine, often of modest quality, was sometimes refined by the addition of aromatic herbs such as Salvia sclarea (Mondino, personal communication).


In Italy, Gouais gave rise to perhaps the most typical grape of the central Alpine belt, the Schiava (or Schiava lombarda), different from the more common Schiava grossa or Trollingher from Trentino and central Europe.


As for the somatic variants, a rose grape mutant in which pigmentation appears before veraison has been reported (Boursiquot et al., 2004).

technological use

The judgments on the quality level of wines obtained from Gouais blanc have always been negative since the past. Moreover, even the etymological origin of the name from "gou" would indicate, according to some, a low quality or mediocrity. The same meaning would have the German synonym Heunisch, while another frequent variant of the name, Bouillaud, would be linked to the use of obtaining a distillate, useful in a poor economy. Single-variety wine-making conducted in Piedmont have generally given a mediocre quality wine, characterized by a pronounced fixed acidity. Only in particularly hot vintages or with modest production loads, and therefore with well-ripe grapes, does the wine show a certain finesse and typicality, with notes of green apple and citrus. Experimentation has moved more recently on sparkling wines with interesting outcomes.

bibliographies (8)
authors year title journal citation
Berget A. 1903 Gouais. In: Viala P., Vermorel V. Ampélographie, Tome IV, 94-106. Ed. Masson, Paris.
Boursiquot J.-M., Lacombe T., Bowers J., Meredith C. 2004 Le Gouais, un cépage clé du patrimoine viticole européen. Bull. OIV, 875-875: 6-19.
Bowers J., Boursiquot J.-M., This P., Chu K., Johansson H., Meredith C. 1999 Historical genetics: the parentage of Chardonnay, Gamay, and other wine grapes of Northeastern France. Science, 285: 1562-1565.
Di Rovasenda G. 1879 Elenco e qualità dei vitigni coltivati nella provincia di Cuneo. In: Bullettino ampelografico XI. Tipografia Eredi Botta (Roma): 311-353.
Fregoni M., Zamboni M., Colla R. 2002 Caratterizzazione ampelografica dei vitigni autoctoni piacentini. Università Cattolica S. C., Piacenza.
Lacombe L., Boursiquot J.M., Laucou V., Di Vecchi-Staraz M., Péros J.P., This P. 2013 Large-scale parentage analysis in an extended set of grapevine cultivars (Vitis vinifera L.) TAG Theoretical and Applied Genetics 126 (2): 401-414
Provana di Collegno L. 1883 Relazione sulla Esposizione ampelografica di Pinerolo. In: Bollettino ampelografico, fascicolo XVI. Tip. D. Ripamonti (Roma).
Reinotti M., Grando S., Schneider A., Zecca O. 2010 Germplasm conservation of traditional grape varieties in Aosta Valley. Proceedings Third Intern. Congress on Mountain Viticulture, Castiglione di Sicila (CT, Italy), 12/14 May 2010
updated at 2020-05-19 17:29:27 (3 years ago)