Wine Glossary - Words that start with H
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Halbtrocken (hahlb-trock-en)
German for "half-dry." Wines with this designation may contain no more than 1.8% residual sugar.

Haraszthy, Agoston
A possibly self proclaimed Hungarian Count, and an unquestionably flamboyant figure, who made his mark on the American state of Wisconsin (where he founded what is now known as Sauk City) before moving west to California. There he founded the Buena Vista winery in Sonoma, which is still in operation today. In 1861 he contrived to be sent to Europe by the Spanish governor of California in order to obtain cuttings of various wine grapes. For this he is often heralded as the "Father of California viticulture." Count Haraszthy's final claim to fame would come several years later, in Nicaragua, where he once again relocated, still hoping to make a fortune. It was here that the good count was eaten by alligators.

In wine tasting terms this relates to a wine that is tannic, particularly one that is so tannic that it is out of balance. This is a function of youth for some wines, and these wines will "soften" with age.

A hard wine with excessive acidity will be "harsh". The acid accentuates the tannins and increases the drying sensation known as astringency.

Haut-Brion, Chateau (oh bree-ohn)
The highest rated, and best known vineyard in the Graves district, in Bordeaux, France. So highly prized is this vineyard, that it was included with the famous vineyards of Margaux, Latour and Lafite in the 1855 classification of the Haut-Medoc, even though it is many miles away from the other vineyards. Like the wines of the Haut-Medoc, Haut-Brion is primarily made form the grape Cabernet Sauvignon. Unlike the afore mentioned wines, Haut-Brion has a higher ratio of Cabernet Franc than Merlot, which often allows the wine to be softer and rounder than the others. They also produce one of the finest white wines of the region. Haut-Brion Blanc is a blend of the white wine grapes Semilion and Sauvignon Blanc. Haut Brion was purchased by the American financier and politician Clarence Dougless Dillion in 1935. His granddaughter still owns and operates Haut-Brion to this day.

Haut-Medoc (oh meh-doc)
The Medoc is a wide peninsula of land formed by the Gironde River and the Atlantic Ocean, just northwest of the city of Bordeaux, France. It is subdivided into the lower (Bas-Medoc) and upper (Haut-Medoc) regions. To be confusing, the Haut-Medoc is further south, and closer to the city; but, it is also the more important region from a wine point of view. The Haut-Medoc is home to the renown vineyards of Margaux, Latour, Mouton and Lafite. It is the land of many Chateaux, and when most people speak of Bordeaux, this is the wine they have in mind. From north to south, the wine producing communes are St. Estephe, Pauilliac, St.-Julien, and Margaux. The order is important as the wines tend to become lighter, the further south you travel.

Used in wine tasting to imply that the wine is out of balance towards the tannins. This type of wine is more than just "hard" it is tannic to a fault, and may not soften enough with age to be enjoyable.

The metric unit for measuring land area. It is 10,000 square meters. One hectare = 2.471 acres.

The metric unit for measuring volume. It is 100 liters. One hectoliter = 26.42 gallons (US) = 133 bottles of wine (11 cases).

A green, vegetable smell in wine. For example, Sauvignon Blanc is grassy when subtle, herbaceous when overpowering. It is not considered a positive attribute when it is more than subtle.

Hermitage (air-mee-tahj)
One of the most important wine making regions of the Rhone Valley, France. Heralded for its rich, earthy wines, both red and white. The red wines are made from the Syrah grape. The whites are more rare, and are made from Marsanne and Roussanne. The name is derived from a thirteenth century knight, Gaspard de Sterimberg, who laid down his weapons here, in favor of the religious life. He built a chapel on the hill, and became a hermit.

Hessische Bergstrasse (heh-see-shuh bairg-strah-suh)
A tiny German region that primarily produces white wines from the Riesling grape. Most of the wine is consumed locally.

Hochheim (hawk-heim)
An important German wine making town. It overlooks the Main river, but it is considered part of the Rheingau.

A British term for the German wines of the Rhine. Derived from the wine town Hochheim.

Hospices de Beaune (oh-speece duh bone)
A charitable institution in the Burgundy region of France. It is the beneficiary of a famous wine auction, held every year on the third Sunday in November. A 15th and 17th century hospital have long been the recipients of the charity. Over the centuries a great deal of vineyard land has been bequeathed to the charity. It is the sale of these wines that draws the crowds to the picturesque city of Beaune, every year. Approximately 15,000 wines from various Burgundy vineyards, are produced and sold at the auction. The wine is sold in a barrel (the Burgundian "piece") and it is up to the buyer to bottle and age the wine before reselling. The words Hospice de Beaune are often printed on the label, but the final quality of the wine is dependent on the bottler.

The burning sensation of excessive or out of balance alcohol in wine. Usually found in the nose, rather than the taste.

Hunter Valley
The oldest vineyard region in Australia. About 100 miles northwest of Sydney. Traditionally Shiraz (the Syrah grape of the Rhone Valley, in France) is king here, with Semillon being the white grape of choice. Bowing to international tastes, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are now almost 50% of the total vines planted.