Wines and Spirits Terminology: Letter H


German liqueur made from rosehips, yellowish in colour.


The cask size used in the Palatinate and Rheinhessen regions of Germany, holding about 132 gallons (600 litres).


Vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains, California, which specialises in white wines.


Not to be confused with the well-known British shipper of German wines, this region on the Rheingau is the highest of the vineyards of the district. The most notable sites are Deutelsberg and Rosengarten.

Hamilton, Richard

Born in Scotland in 1792, he settled in Adelaide Metropolitain, Australia, in 1837 – one of the very first winemakers to be established in that continent. The original estate was called Ewell, after a previous Hamilton home in Surrey, England. The estate has kept some of the original vines planted by Richard Hamilton in a property that is now in a busy suburb, but the Hamiltons, who still run the business, own vineyards elsewhere, including the Barossa Valley, Springton, and at Nildottie on the Murray River. In addition to table wines, the firm also produces brandy.


Ceremonial cup used in wine order rituals.


South African name for a grape that seems to be the Muscat d’Alexandrie. It is used for making both dry and sweet wines, as well as being sold as a table grape.


Winery and vineyards just north of Sonoma, California, built on the model of Clos de Vougeot by James D. Zellerbach in 1951. He had been U.S. Ambassador to Italy and particularly enjoyed Burgundy among European wines. His property was given the name Hanzell after his wife (Hana) and himself. The top authorities at Davis were consulted about equipment and procedures, although the owner insisted on using French oak casks for maturation. But innovations, such as cold fermentation, were also introduced, and the first wines met with great praise, in Europe as well as in California. Zellerbach died in 1963, but the winery was subsequently bought by Mrs Mary Schaw Day, although much of the equipment had been sold.

Hanzell wines

Never produced in large quantities, are today in great demand among serious wine lovers and they appear to be of fine quality.


Hungarian white grape, meaning ‘Mime flower’, because of the shape of the leaf.


The ‘hat’ or chapeau is the thick mass of grape skins, pips, stems and stalks that settles on the top of the fermentation vat. It is virtually all the debris of the grapes that has been allowed to pass into the vat along with the juice. The length of time that this is allowed to remain on the top of the must while it becomes wine, has a marked effect on the ultimate wine; because the astringency and tannin of the vegetable matter, plus the colouring in the skins of black and red grapes, will be absorbed. Sometimes the hat is regularly broken up with paddles, and pushed down into the must, to ensure that it has maximum contact with the future wine. In the past, the hat would remain on some wines for three or more weeks – as in Bordeaux – resulting in wines that took a long time to become drinkable. Today it is usually only in contact with the must for a matter of days.


In the centre of the Rheingau – this is the centre of many vineyards producing very popular fine wines. It is also one of the residences of Graf von Schbnborn, one of the most famous proprietors.

Haut Bages

Liberal Classed 5th growth of Pauillac, the final word of its name referring to one of the early owners of the property.

Haut Bailiy

Property in the parish of Leognan in the Graves making red wines only, which can achieve great quality.

Haut Batailley

A 5th classed growth of Pauillac, which was part of Chateau Batailley until 1942.

Haut Brion

The great red wine from the parish of Pessac, in the Graves region, just south of Bordeaux. It has a long history and at one time was known in Britain as ‘Pontac’ because it was owned by the Pontac family. Pepys mentions ‘Ho Bryen that hath a good and most particular taste’. Haut Brion was the only wine from outside the Medoc to be included in the 1855 classification, when it was placed among the other 1st growths of Lafite, Latour and Margaux. With the classification of the Graves in 1953 and 1959, it was also rated a 1st growth of that region. The estate was bought in 1935 by the American banker, Clarence Dillon, and it is very renowned in the U.S., although in recent years prices for it in Europe – and the opinions of several who should know – do not always rate it equal with the other 1st growth clarets.

It is always a big wine, sometimes having a special taste that reminds people of a roasted, almost scorched, flavour. The vineyard is planted with 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Cabernet Franc, and 23% Merlot. In 1958 a new bottle was designed for the wine, slightly more squat than the most traditional Bordeaux bottles and with a slim neck. The estate also produces an important white Graves, Haut Brion Blanc.

Haut Brion Blanc

The fine white wine produced by Chateau Haut Brion in the Graves region south of Bordeaux. Comparatively small quantities are made and it is much in demand in the U.S.

Hawkes Bay

One of the most important vineyard areas in New Zealand, where a religious mission first planted a vineyard in 1851.


Estate at Stellenbosch, South Africa, built towards the end of the 18th century. In recent years it has been thoroughly re-equipped and is making table wines of fine quality.

Healy, Maurice (1887-1943)

This Irish K.C., who wrote an amusing account of his experience in The Old Munster Circuit, is known in the world of wine for his book Stay Me with Flagons, first published in 1940. It was subsequently edited with notes by Ian Maxwell Campbell, who really did know something about wine and was a respected author himself (Wayward Tendrils of the Vine, 1947). Healy’s book is discursive, opinionated and, like many of the wine books by those who are merely wine drinkers, it is not always factually sound. But it has a great following, although I myself put this kind of book into the ‘meringue and millefeuille’ category of wine literature – a little goes a long way – yet many people find this sort of stuff appealing. Healy writes an entire section on Burgundy without ever having been there or, indeed, apparently having read much about it! He certainly could have done both!

Heather ale

Scottish traditional drink, which was supposed to have been made to a recipe that perished centuries ago with the last of the family to whom it was entrusted. However, references to heather ale occur in the 18th and 19th centuries, and F. Marian McNeill gives a recipe for it in The Scots Cellar.

Heavy wines

The term relates to wines that are higher in alcoholic strength than 14% of alcohol by volume (see Gay Lussac), and which therefore pay a higher rate of duty to the Customs and Excise in the U.K. Than light or table wines.


The Heck brothers were the children of a Strasbourg winemaker, who managed the sparkling wine concern of Cook, in St. Louis, U.S. They have been influential in the world of wine all their lives and, after World War II, bought the Korbel winery and cellars, dating from 1886, on the Russian River in California. Visitors are proudly told that the sparkling wine is all ‘fermented in this bottle1 – exactly following the Champagne method.


Metric measure of area equalling 10,000 square metres. One hectare equals 2-471 acres; abbreviated to ‘ha’.


Metre liquid measure equalling l00 litres. One hectolitre is 21.9969 gallons. Abbreviated in writing to ‘hi.’, and in speech to ‘hecto’.


This curious word derives from the ‘lift’ or wedge of leather used to increase the height of a shoe heel. In the 18th century it began to be used for the draining of wine or spirits at the bottom of a glass – possibly because, seen through the glas J , this small amount of drink could have resembled the layer of leather. If there happened to be any deposit in these dregs, as must often have been evident in the days before much filtration before bottling, the resemblance would have been even more marked. Consequently the exhortation ‘No heeltaps!’ came to mean that the contents of the glass were to be drained completely, so that nothing was left. A heeltap glass is one that has no foot.


German liqueur made from bilberries, either by distilling the fermented fruit juice, or else by mixing the berries with alcohol.

Heitz, Joe

Bought his first winery in California as recently as 1961. Prior to that, during his period in the U.S. Army, he had worked part-time in a winery. He studied oenoiogy seriously after World War II, subsequently working at Davis, also for Gallo and other wineries, including Beaulieu. He is greatly admired for his wines made from classic wine grapes and his reputation throughout California is very high. A European can immediately make contact with a Heitz wine , although each retains its California individuality.


This region near Auckland. New Zealand, is the biggest area under vines in that country. Vines were first planted there at the beginning of the 20th century, but serious large-scale wine production was started after World War II.

Hennessy, Richard

Born in County Cork. He joined the Irish Brigade to fight for the Stuart cause against ‘Dutch William’. After being wounded, he spent part of his convalescence in Cognac and shipped back some casks of the brandy to friends in Ireland. The Cognac proved so popular that the Hennessy firm was founded in 1765. Today it is an enormous concern, and still a family business. The Hennessys, French and English, are also influential in the racing world.


Important wine family in Australia’s Barossa Valley. The first of the name arrived in 1842 and soon afterwards began farming near Keyneton, although his son was the first to start planting vines and made his first vintage in 1868. The family expanded their business but. Although the firm is still a family concern, its production is limited. Quality is the prime aim as regards the range of table wines made – they make no fortified wines and their red table wines are reported as of special quality.


(Pronounced ‘Eh-row’) This area, with the departements of Gard and Aude, forms the largest wineproducing region in France. Much of the production of wine has been for the branded vins de marque, for making into vermouth or wines of very ordinary quality, but recently some of them have begun to achieve an independent standing as vins de pays. Thanks to the improvements in winemaking and because of the tremendous increase in the prices of fine wines, there is a move to introduce some of these previously unknown local wines as good, though modest, drinks in their own right and under their own names. Some of the wines of Languedoc, such as the Clairette, those of the Costieres du Gard and the sweet vins doux naturels, make very interesting drinking for those on holiday in the region and they may appear on wine lists in export markets in the future. Red, white and rose are all to be found.


(Pronounced ‘Erm-it-age’) Vineyard of the Rhone Valley, making fine red and white wines. The spectacular terraced vineyards are dominated by a tiny chapel which, some believe, was where St Patrick planted the first vines. It is also the hermitage of Gaspard de Sterimberg who, in the 13th century, retreated from the world after the Albigensian Crusade, horrified at man’s cruelty to man. He is said to have offered wine from the vineyards he cultivated to those who came to him for advice. Tain 1’Hermitage, with its twin town, Tournon, across the Rhone, is the centre of the northern section of the Cotes du Rhone. The vineyards are steeply terraced above the river: those of Hermitage and Crozes Hermitage are on the east bank; those of St Joseph, Comas and St Peray are on the west bank. Both red and white wines are produced, the reds of the Hermitage vineyards usually being considered the finest. In the St Peray vineyard, the white sparkling wines are made.

Hessische Bergstrasse

In German, this means ‘Hesse mountain road’ and, although the region is the smallest of German wineproducing areas, it is very picturesque. It is on the east bank of the Rhine, from south of Darmstadt nearly to Heidelberg. The Staatsweingut owns an important vineyard here.

Het Pint

New Year drink traditional in Scotland, made of ale, whisky and eggs. Sir Walter Scott always drank it at Hogmanay.


(Pronounced ‘Hoy-rig-ger’) The ‘new’ or latest vintage of the Austrian wine made in the Vienna Woods region, of which Grinzing is the best-known village. It is usually drawn from the cask and can be sold from 11 November onwards. By 31 December of the next year, it cannot be called Heurige any more. The inns that display a wreath or garland as a sign that the sell this, are only allowed to if the wine comes from their winery.

High Tor

Vineyard in New York State’s Hudson Valley, established in 1954.


A long drink, essentially whisky (of any kind the drinker pleases), poured over ice-cubes and with added carbonated water.


Whisky distillery originally established in Montrose, Angus in 1897. It now belongs to the D.C.L.

Hine, Thomas

Born in Dorset, he went to Jarnac at the end of the 18th century, his family having been disadvantaged because they had been Protestant supporters of the Monmouth rebellion. He worked for the house of Delamain and married one of the daughters, starting his own firm in 1817. He never became French and nor did his son, who was actually Mayor of Jarnac. Today the Hines are still a family firm and have kept up with their English relations in the wine trade. Their trademark – a hind – is a play on the name, which remains a great problem in pronunciation to most French.


This town, actually on the River Main, which runs into the Rhine, produces fine wine from its vineyards but is possibly most famous for having given the word ‘hock’ to the English language. This is supposed to have originated with Queen Victoria, after whom the Viktoriaberg site is named; but in fact the name seems to have been in use earlier than her accession in 1837. The name ‘hock’ appears to have been an abbreviation of ‘hockamore’, the anglicised form of hochheimer, for which The Oxford Dictionary gives the earliest usage as 1625.


The word used in Britain and on many British wine lists to denote the wines of the Rhine. The name is supposedly derived from Hochheim; but the use of ‘hock’ instead of ‘Rhenish’ appears to have been current at least in the early part of the 19th century and even much earlier.


Australian wine dynasty, whose founder, Samuel Hoffmann, arrived in 1848 and began to cultivate vines on the North Para River, in the Barossa Valley. The vineyards and winery have passed directly from father to son and today the Hoffmanns concentrate on making quality red wines and fortified wines at the North Para Wines installations.

Hohe Domkirche

This German establishment – meaning the ‘cathedral’ – is one of the vineyard-owning properties now swallowed by the Bischofliche Weingüter at Trier. .


German liqueur made from ripe elderberries.


German liqueurs based on honey, of which the most famous is Baerenfang.


German brandy made slightly bitter by adding hop buds.

Hot bottling

Topic that occurs in many wine discussions, especially in relation to German and other delicate wines. Cold sterile bottling, evolved in the period between the wars, is effective but somewhat time-consuming. Forhot bottling – of inexpensive wines – the wine is quickly heated to 120-130°F (49-55°C), via a heat exchanger, and this kills off any undesired yeast, etc. If hot bottling is done well, the wine should not be affected although, because the process inevitably involves some loss of bouquet, the very finest wines are never hot bottled. Hot bottled wines can usually be recognised because, when they cool, the wine shrinks and there will be more ullage in the bottle than usual.


Vineyard in the middle Swan Valley, Western Australia, first planted by the ex-Indian Army Colonel Houghton in 1833, with vine cuttings brought from South Africa. The property now belongs to the Emu Wine Co. A wide range of table and fortified wines are produced.

Hudson Valley

Region in New York State where a number of wineries have been established.


Spanish wine region in the south-west of the country, abutting on the Portuguese frontier. It makes a large quantity of wine, red and white of ordinary quality, some good white. There is also some white that, being high in strength and able to grow flor, is handled somewhat like a so/era-produced sherry. It is difficult to know much about these wines, but some would appear to be bought and used for blending by large concerns elsewhere in Spain.

Humpen glass

German wine glass, especially traditional in Bavaria and Saxony. It is rather like a concave barrel, without a stem and for ceremonial purposes was often cut, engraved and coloured. The English term for this type of glass is a ‘brimmer’.

Hunter River

One of the earliest founded and most important wine regions in New South Wales, Australia. James Busby, who arrived in Sydney in 1824, pioneered the planting of classic European wine grapes here and the region is one of the few where Phylloxera did not infect all the vineyards. Fortified as well as table wines are made and individual estates, making quality wines, are beginning to gain reputations in overseas markets. The very finest wines, however, are seldom exported, as home demand for them always exceeds the supply. Travellers should take every opportunity to try the best products of what is, by now, a historic and, in many ways, classic New World vineyard area. Climatic variations here make vintage dates of importance for some wines.


Each country produces wine experiments with the use of hybrids but the fine wines of the world come only from Vitis vinifera. The hybrids have, however, contributed to wine production in areas where Vitis vinifera will not thrive, and their use has resulted in wines of everyday quality being made. Hybrids are usually named after the people who have evolved them. Their use, especially in classic wine regions, is very strictly controlled, indeed often forbidden, and they may not be associated in any way with wines made from permitted wine grapes of Vitis vinifera. Obviously, though, the position regarding their use must be constantly subject to review and revised legislation.


Device for measuring the sugar content of must and thus, by implication, the alcoholic content of the finished wine.

16. December 2011 by admin
Categories: Spirits, Uncategorized, Wine, Wine Dictionary | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Wines and Spirits Terminology: Letter H


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