Wine Grapes: Gerwurztraminer


Pronunciation: Guh-voorts-trah-mee-ner

Planted in: France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Romania, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine, USA, Canada, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Japan, Israel

One of the most headily and distinctively aromatic varietals of all with strong lychee flavors and high alcohol levels. Gewürztraminer is thought to be an aromatic mutation of Savagnin Rose (Galet 2000). The first occurrence of the name Gewürztraminer (Gewürz is the German for ‘spice’) appeared in Germany in Johann Metzger (1827).

Gewürztraminer, often written Gewurztraminer, has become by far the most planted variant of Traminer (Savagnin Blanc). The grapes are certainly notable at harvest for their variegated but incontrovertibly pink color, which is translated into very deep golden wine, sometimes with a slight coppery tinge… Gewürztraminers also attain higher alcohol levels than most white wines, with over 14% being by no means uncommon, and acidities can correspondingly be precariously low. Because of this the variety is not suited to very warm climates. Malolactic fermentation is almost invariably suppressed for Gewürztraminer and steps must be taken to avoid oxidation. If all goes well, the result is deep-golden, full-bodied wines with a substantial spine and concentrated heady aromas of lychees and rose petals whose acidity level will preserve them while those aromas unfurl. The distinctive aroma of Gewürztraminer is often referred to as ‘spicy’ by wine tasters simply because Gewürz means ‘spice’, not because it is reminiscent of any particular spice.


Source: Wine Grapes 
A complete guide to 1,368 vine varieties, including their origins and flavors
Jancis Robinson, Julia Harding, and Jose Vouillamouz
Published by the Penguin Group

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