Gewurztraminer, which translated means “spiced or perfumed Traminer ” is a pink white wine grape primarily grown in Alsace, France and Germany. With smaller amounts being produced in Australia, Italy, Canada, California and throughout Europe. The wines produced tend to be a sweet, although they do make dry versions. The aroma is a flowery, spicy one, with particular odours of lychees and roses. While Gewürztraminer's can be drunk young, some may benefit from 2-4 years of aging.
The history of the Gewurztraminer grape is a long and complicated one. Since the Middle Ages, the parent variety of Gewurztraminer has been grown in Italy. The traminer grapes have an unstable genome and tend to mutate more frequently compared to other grapes. Mutation in the earlier centuries led to these grapes acquiring a pink color. The wines these grapes produced were very distinctive and heady.
This “mutant Traminer”, Gewurztraminer, made it's way from Italy to France and Germany where it was known by different names. In Italy they called it Traminer Rose, the Germans called it Roter Traminer and it was known as Traminer Musque in France. In the late 19th century the vine became known as Gewurztraminer by the Alsatians, but the name wasn't officially sanctioned until 1973.
Gewurztraminer is probably best known for the wines produced using it in Alsace, France, where it is the second most planted grape variety. The grape can also be found growing in Germany, Australia, Italy, Canada, California and throughout Europe.
Gewurztraminer can be very hard to grow. The grape buds early, making it very susceptible to frost and tends to ripen late. The grape doesn't do well in chalky soils and is disease prone. Gewurztraminer needs warm and dry summers to reach it's potential
Gewurztraminer wines typically display lychee, rose petal, even Turkish delight aromas. On the palate this wine is marked by its full texture and low acidity. Crisp flavors of stone fruit such as apricot, mango and peach are typical. Gewurztraminer wines typically display lychee, rose petal, even Turkish delight aromas. On the palate this wine is marked by its full texture, low acidity, stone fruit such as, apricot, mango and peach. Gewurztraminer tends to be spicy with ginger and cinnamon flavors often present. Very sweet dessert style wines are also produced using this grape. Gewurztraminer pairs well with spicy Thai or Asian foods.