10 Reasons Why Gewürztraminer Is an Awesome Wine

Wine Glass Gewürztraminer


1. The Name

The name Gewürztraminer is cool, a bit long but cool, especially when you learn how to pronounce it correctly.

pronounce it correctly


2. Where it Came From

Nope, not from Germany! Gewürztraminer originated from the ancient Traminer variety located in South Tyrol, the German-speaking province in northern Italy. The legend goes that sometime in 1780 a Grand Duke of Baden, Karl Friedrich brought these vines up from northern Italy.

Castle Rafenstein – Bolzano, Italy


3. Not a White Grape

Gewürztraminer is a light pink-skinned grape.  Some even believe it is a mutation of Savagnin Blanc.  

Gewürztraminer vine and grapes


4. What the Name Means

The German name Gewürztraminer means "Spice Traminer" or "Perfumed Traminer."  And we thought Viognier had a strong aroma.

Gewürztraminer honey and spice


5. It's a Pain to Grow

Gewürztraminer is super particular about soil and climate.  It hates lime-rich soils (which is a lot of Europe). Because it buds out early, it is very susceptible to early frosts. It needs a warm, dry summer but even then it ends up ripening at different times.  On top of all this, it is susceptible to diseases.  So next time you're drinking a Gewürztraminer, remember, it was one difficult grape to grow.

Row of Gewurztraminer Grapes in a Winery


6. Where in The U.S?

Yes, of course, you'll find excellent Gewürztraminer growing in Mendocino County, California, but in New York, you'll find promising Gewürztraminer as well.  It's all about the climate! (remember #5)

Long Island Vineyard


7. The Aroma

Gewürztraminer and lychee fruit have similar aroma compounds. Dry Gewürztraminer may have aromas of roses, passion fruit, and floral notes.

 lychee fruit


8. Is it Sweet or Dry?

It can be both or a combination. It depends on what regions it's grown and how it's grown.

Dry, semi-sweet, or sweet wine


9. Pairing with Foods

Pairing is the fun part about Gewürztraminer.  You can pair it with spicy foods.  Especially spicy Asian foods.  Also great with all stinky cheeses.

Food, Thai, Spicy, Asian, Papaya, Somtam, Crap, Tasty


10. If You Like Muscat/Moscato

Then Gewürztraminer is like the grown-up version of Moscato.  And it just so happens to be one of the 18 Classic Noble Grapes.  So if you're a new wine drinker who started with Muscat, here's your chance to try another white that's still fun!

Randall Farrar
Randall Farrar



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