Classic aromas of Gewurztraminer are: White Rose, Lychee, Turkish Delight, Cinnamon and Gingerbread
Gewurztraminer is a white grape variety that hails from France. It is part of the Traminer family and Gewurz, the root of the word, is German for ‘spice’ which was given to the wines due to the spicy aroma profiles they hold.
Gewurztraminer is a fairly polarising grape variety for consumers so it always has a crowd of interested buyers around the world but the fan-base doesn’t stretch to even half of the Chardonnay base. That being said it is well travelled and planted in the warm climates of Oregon, Washington, New Zealand and Australia.
With a German name it should come as no surprise that it is an important grape in the German wine world. Here it is also sometimes known as Roter Traminer or Savagnin Rose.
Though it has its main hold in Alsace, France. Here it is one of the four noble grapes along with Riesling, Pinot Gris and Muscat. Gewurztraminer makes up 19% of Alsace and has 3,083ha in France’s total vineyard area.
As incredible as the wines from Gewurztraminer can be, it can be a very tricky grape to get right. It has high sugar levels with a low-medium acidity. This often gives wines that have higher alcohols and/or too much sweetness and not enough acidity to balance them out. The best examples in the world will have higher alcohols, often at 14-15%, but equal sugar and acidity.
The best examples of Gewurztraminer have a deep-golden colour, medium acidity and a full body. They can have a oily texture (not a bad thing) and will often be a touch off-dry in sweetness. The most alluring part of Gewurztraminer is its bouquet of fruits and florals. The leaders in their fabled perfume are white rose, lychee, Turkish delight, orange blossom, honeysuckle, cinnamon, gingerbread cookies and candied lemon peel. As Gewurztraminer matures it will often pick up more spice notes and honeyed aromas.