The Traminer Aromaticalso known as gewürztraminer - by gewürz which in German means spicy - is a white grape variety famous for its intensely aromatic wines in which the aromas of rose and white pepper are particularly recognisable. The first written mention of this vine belongs to the village of Tramin in South Tyrol (Northern Italy) and dates back to 1000 A.D., although it is likely that its cultivation in the region dates back to even earlier periods, perhaps brought by the Romans or the Rhaetians, an ancient people who inhabited the Eastern Alps.

Aromatic Traminer: synonyms and clones

  • Synonyms: gewürztraminer. Others: savagnin, sauvagnin, termeno aromatic, traminer rosa.

Aromatic Traminer: Characteristics

The cultivation of aromatic traminer is handicapped by both its tendency to ripen early and its susceptibility to various vine diseases. However, when cultivated under ideal conditions, it produces wines of extraordinary complexity and aromatic depth.

... of the plant

  • Appearance: leaf small, pentagonal and trilobed with V-shaped petiolar sinus. The upper page is glabrous, bullous and dark green. The underside is arachnoid and grey-green. Petiole short, medium-large and glabrous.
  • Maturation: First and second ten days of September. Bunch small, short, truncated, with one or two wings and compact. Grape medium, spherical and somewhat elongated. Peel thick, pruinose and consistent amber-pink colour. Pulp fleshy with colourless juice of aromatic flavour.
  • Productivity: mediocre, but regular.
  • Vigour: mediocre.
  • Resistance to adversity: It resists cryptogamic diseases, moths and winter cold well.
Aromatic traminer vine leaf

... of wine produced

A long-lived white wine that can age in the bottle for many years.

  • Visual examination: intense straw yellow to bright golden yellow.
  • Olfactory examination: very intense and elegant, with floral, fruity and herbaceous notes in which rose flowers stand out.
  • Taste-olfactory examination: balanced, fresh, very tasty, particularly soft, structured and with a long, bitter finish.

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Aromatic Traminer: cultivation areas

  • Italy: (suitable and recommended areas) Friuli-Venezia Giulia, the provinces of Trento, Treviso and Venice; (suitable areas) Abruzzo, Basilicata, Calabria, Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy, Apulia, Sardinia, Sicily, Tuscany, Valle d'Aosta, the provinces of Belluno, Bolzano, Caserta, Verona and Vicenza; (areas under observation) Molise, Piedmont.
  • World (in order of quantity): Argentina (Mendoza; Salta); Italy; United States (CaliforniaMendocino, Monterey, Sonoma; Washington: Columbia Valley); Australia; Bulgaria (Dunavska Ravnina; Tschernomorski Raion). Canada (Ontario; Quebec). It is cultivated in small quantities in New Zealand, Austria, Romania, Germany, Spain e France.

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Sommelier: the illustrated manual

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Traminer aromatico: Italian DOCG and DOC wines where allowed

  • DOCG: none.
  • DOC: Abruzzo, Alto Adige or dell'Alto Adige - in German Südtirol or Südtiroler, Carso or Carso - Kras, Collio Goriziano or Collio, Friuli Aquileia, Friuli Annia, Friuli Colli Orientali, Friuli Grave, Friuli Isonzo or Isonzo del Friuli, Friuli Latisana, Scavigna, Trentino, Valle d'Aosta or Vallee d'Aoste, Friuli or Friuli Venezia Giulia - in Slovenian Furlanija or Furlanija Juliska Krajna.
Aromatic Traminer grape cluster

Conclusion

This vine is, in its 'particularly' simple, fresh and aromatic versions, considered not a 'sommelier' vine. However, in its area of choice - Alsace - it is also vinified lightly sweetened in extremely long-lived versions that provide unforgettable emotions (as is also the case with the rhine riesling). In its best expressions, it can age for many years (even more than 30). It lends itself particularly well to be paired with blue cheeses as its aromaticity supports that of these cheeses and its non-sickly sweetness softens the spiciness.

Sources:

© Ministry of Agricultural Food and Forestry Policies, National Catalogue of Vine Varieties.

© Bassi C., Sommelier: the illustrated manual, Cammeo DiVino, Reggio Emilia, 2022, pp. 180-181

© Franz Haas (cover photo)

Other grape varieties to be studied:

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