Getting to Know
Gewurztraminer (ga-VERTZ-trah-mee-ner) is a white wine grape found primarily in the French region of Alsace, originating in the Germany region of Pfalz.
In addition to Alsace and Germany, Gewurz is also found in Austria, Australia, New Zealand, Hungary, and a surprisingly large amount from the United States.
Known for its distinct aromatics and near non-existent color, wine great Jancis Robinson hails it a ‘beginner’s grape’ meaning these grapes make it easily recognized by sight and smell.
Pink-skinned (not pale green as most whites), remaining Gewurztraminer grape pigments give the wine a deep golden to copper hue.
Aromatics are high with intense notes of lychee, rose petals, and tropical fruits. Full to medium-bodied, it shows very low acidity with a taste profile of stone fruits like mango, peach, and apricot as well as spices of ginger and cinnamon.
As noted, most Gewurzs wines are off-dry to semi-dry. While that sweetness is generally attributed to high residual sugar, with Gewurztraminer it is generally a case of more pronounced aromatics coupled with low acidity, which gives dry expressions a seemingly sweeter taste.
WHERE TO FIND THE Gewurztraminer Grape
A full one-quarter of the Gewurztraminer grown in the world comes from the region of Alsace. Though, it is worth noting that worldwide, only about 20,000 acres of Gewurztraminer can be found with approximately 7,000 in Alsace.
The second largest country of production is the USA. In California, you’ll find Gewurztraminer grapes grown in cooler areas like Sonoma and Monterey, most notably in vineyards at higher elevation. In addition, New York and Washington states are gaining attention for their Gewurztraminer wine with the cooler climates yielding expressions with higher acidity.
When is the Right Mood for Gewurztraminer Wine?
HOW TO ENJOY Gewurztraminer WINE
Gewurztraminer food pairing
Practical Tips for Gewurztraminer Wine
Glassware: Drink out of a white wine glass.
Shelf life: Because of its low acidity, Gewurztraminer is typically not ageworthy, however wines from Alsace are known for longer aging. For younger drinking Gewurz, drink within one or two years. For more complex expressions, you can hold up to 10 years.