Grape Varieties G-H Gewurztraminer

Gewurztraminer Wine

Gewurztraminer (Gewürztraminer in German-language areas) is a pink-skinned grape variety that produces some of the world's most distinctive aromatic wines. Its perfumed style is somewhat polarizing; fans adore its intense floral scent and sweet-spice flavors, while detractors lament its low acidity and lack of subtlety.

Gewurztraminer's parentage is hard to trace. Modern research suggests that it is the aromatic mutation of Roter Traminer (Savagnin Rose), and therefore part of the ancient Savagnin-Traminer group of grape varieties, which have identical or near-identical DNA profiles. As such it is hard to locate a precise area of origin, though Savagnin is thought to have originated in what is now southwest Germany.

Gewurztraminer Grapes

Literally translated, Gewürztraminer means "spiced Traminer" (Traminer Aromatico in Italian). The second part of the word suggests the grape may have origins in Tramin (Termeno) in the Alto Adige region. But while documents mentioning wines from Tramin date back to the 1200s, the spicy variant of the Savagnin Rose grape did not exist in the region until the 19th Century. Recent studies suggest that German growers of the Gewürztraminer/Savagnon Rose grape created the confusion by naming the variety after the wines of the Tramin region, which by the 1400s were attracting international acclaim.

The best examples of Gewurztraminer are generally regarded as being from the grand cru vineyards of Alsace. It could even be argued that Alsace is the spiritual home of Gewürztraminer, despite the fact that it is not its ancestral home and that Gewürztraminer accounts for less than one-fifth of vineyard area in the region.

Gewürztraminer, as we know it today, arrived in Alsace from the Pfalz region – closer than most wine regions of France. The rich clay soils present in Alsace proved an ideal environment to produce full-bodied Gewürztraminer wines. The richness of dry, late-harvest, (vendage tardive), and botrytized very sweet (Sélection de Grains Nobles) Gewürztraminer wines in Alsace set the benchmark for which the variety is judged, and it is one of the grape varieties along with Riesling, Muscat and Pinot Gris which can be produced at Alsace Grand Cru level.

The primary aromatic descriptors used to define Gewürztraminer are typically lychee, rose petal, Turkish delight, tropical fruit and perfume. On the palate it is marked by its full texture, low acidity, stonefruit (mango, peach and apricot) and spicy (ginger and cinnamon) flavors.

Somewhat confusingly in Australia, the variety is often referred to as simply Traminer. The confusion is amplified by the recent discovery that a small amount of Savagnin Blanc – aka Traminer – is grown in the country, having been misidentified as Albarino for many years prior to 2009.

Notable examples of Gewürztraminer produced outside Alsace are from New Zealand, Oregon, Washington, Germany and northern Italy. It is also made under a wide number of synonyms in eastern Europe, but these wines are rarely exported.

Synonyms include: Traminer Aromatico, Traminer Musqué, Traminer, Gentil Aromatique, Savagnin Rose Aromatique, Gelber Traminer.

Food matches for Gewurztraminer include:

  • Stir-fried pork with pickled plum (dry)
  • Crayfish laksa (dry)
  • Pannacotta (sweet)

Enjoy this video about Gewurztraminer, from Sonoma Valley's Kunde Family Estate.

Production by region Expand/collapse

Most Popular Gewurztraminer Wine

Based on search frequency, updated monthly
Wine Name
Region
Popularity
Score
Avg Price
F E Trimbach Gewurztraminer, Alsace, France Alsace 2,882nd 89 $24
Cantina Termeno - Kellerei Tramin 'Epokale' Gewurztraminer Alto Adige, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy Alto Adige - Sudtirol 4,309th 91 $183
Hugel & Fils 'Hugel' Gewurztraminer, Alsace, France Alsace 5,579th 87 $24
Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Gewurztraminer Hengst, Alsace Grand Cru, France Hengst 6,436th 93 $70
F E Trimbach Gewurztraminer Cuvee des Seigneurs de Ribeaupierre, Alsace, France Alsace 6,742nd 91 $46
F E Trimbach Gewurztraminer Vendanges Tardives, Alsace, France Alsace 8,522nd 92 $57
Domaines Schlumberger Gewurztraminer Les Princes Abbes, Alsace, France Alsace 8,658th 89 $24
Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Gewurztraminer Clos Windsbuhl, Alsace, France Clos Windsbuhl 9,376th 93 $66
Vinoptima Ormond Grand Reserve Gewurztraminer, Gisborne, New Zealand Gisborne 9,789th 91 $54
Hugel & Fils Gewurztraminer Selection de Grains Nobles, Alsace, France Alsace 10,627th 93 $128
Cantina Termeno - Kellerei Tramin Selections 'Nussbaumer' Gewurztraminer Alto Adige, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy Alto Adige - Sudtirol 11,358th 91 $29
Domaine Weinbach Gewurztraminer Cuvee Laurence, Alsace, France Alsace 11,666th 92 $47
Gustave Lorentz Gewurztraminer Reserve, Alsace, France Alsace 12,587th 88 $22
Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Gewurztraminer, Alsace, France Alsace 12,660th 89 $27
Hugel & Fils Gewurztraminer Vendanges Tardives, Alsace, France Alsace 12,807th 90 $61
Wolfberger Gewurztraminer Signature, Alsace, France Alsace 13,401st 88 $14
Elena Walch Kastelaz Gewurztraminer Alto Adige, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy Alto Adige - Sudtirol 13,898th 91 $33
Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Gewurztraminer Rangen de Thann Clos Saint Urbain, Alsace Grand Cru, France Clos Saint Urbain 13,976th 94 $92
Arthur Metz Gewurztraminer, Alsace, France Alsace 15,137th 86 $20
Domaine Weinbach Gewurztraminer Furstentum, Alsace Grand Cru, France Furstentum 15,227th 93 $68
Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Gewurztraminer Goldert, Alsace Grand Cru, France Goldert 16,930th 93 $63
Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Gewurztraminer Turckheim, Alsace, France Alsace 16,930th 90 $25
Fetzer Valley Oaks Gewurztraminer, California, USA California 17,764th 85 $7
Fetzer Shaly Loam Gewurztraminer, Monterey County, USA Monterey County 19,171st 87 $8
F E Trimbach Gewurztraminer Selection de Grains Nobles, Alsace, France Alsace 19,959th 93 $147
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To see how Wine-Searcher uses average pricing and professional wine critic scores on this page, please see Average Wine Prices and Wine Scores. To find out about popularity, please see Wine Ranks.
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