Although it supposedly originated in Tramin, northern Italy, this pink skinned grape variety is synonymous with the distinctly perfumed, aromatic dry white wines of Alsace. Lychees, Turkish Delights and rose petals are all typical aromas.
The Alsace ‘Grand Cru’ rated vineyards, which are rich with limestone and marl, produce full-bodied, long-lived Gewürztraminer with exceptional, floral perfume and good concentration of peach and mineral. Examples from the Alpine regions of northern Italy are less powerful but fresh and fragrant nonetheless.
German Gewürztraminer (from the Pfalz in particular) is likely to exhibit delicate peachy aromatics with more weight on the palate and can retain some balancing natural sweetness. Austrian and Slovenian examples are drier whilst outside Europe, New Zealand and Oregon are perhaps the most successful surrogate homes, with examples of Alsace-like intensity, although it is scattered throughout the wine regions of the New World.
Growers in Germany, Austria and Alsace, also make late harvested dessert Gewürztraminer, sometimes affected by noble rot. Often known as ‘Vendange Tardive’ it is an intense late picked wine made from very ripe grapes left on the vine into autumn to concentrate the sugars and aromas of rose, jasmine and exotic fruits.