Named after the German word for “spice”, Gewürztraminer (pronounced guh-voorts-truh-mee-ner) is one of the most aromatic white grape varieties we can enjoy. This pink-skinned grape developed as a natural mutation of the grape Savagnin in the area of northeast France and southwest Germany. Since it ripens easily, it prefers cooler climates where it can retain its naturally low acidity and develop its characteristic aroma profile of lychees, rose petal, ginger and baking spices. “Gewürz”, as it is known, is still considered a relatively rare grape, with plantings reaching approximately 20,000 acres mostly in France, Germany, Eastern Europe and United States.
The French region of Alsace is the main place of reference when talking about Gewürztraminer, where it is considered one of the four noble grapes and produced in a variety of styles ranging from dry to very sweet. The Trimbach family has been producing wines in Alsace for 13 generations. Their Classic Gewürztraminer is vinified until completely dry and showcases the traditional powerful aromas of the grape balanced by bright acidity. In the Columbia Valley region of Washington State, we find Chateau St Michelle. The exposure to longer sunshine hours creates a Gewürz that is rounder in texture with ripe flavors of pineapple and honey.
Such a potent grape needs dishes that are equally flavorful like intense soft cheeses, Indian curries, or spicy Thai dishes. Give Gewurz a chance and let those aromas captivate you.
Author: Maytte Rivera