Posted by: fortheloveofwine | March 21, 2008

Glorious Gewurztraminer

This one is for Joe…


When I think about gewürztraminer, the new LCBO radio commercial comes to mind where they describe it as delicate as an Alsatian ballerina in a grape-skin tutu.  I think those commercials are brilliant, by the way.  This remark is funny because some of the most famous gewürztraminers come from Alsace, in France.

One of the distinctive qualities of this grape variety is its delicate pink colour, which can sometimes transfer to the wine itself depending on the length of time the skins of the grapes are left in contact with the juice during the wine making process.  Gewurztraminers tend to have a very distinct smell and taste of lychee fruit, rose petals with spicy notes of ginger and pepper.  The name gewürztraminer is a combination of 2 words: gewurz, which means spice and traminer, which means earth.

Alsace and Germany produce some great specimens, but Niagara is starting to produce some great products as well.  One of my favourites is produced by Palatine Hills winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake. I find that the style of Gewurztraminer can be quite floral, heavy and sweet coming from Niagara, but Palatine does a great job and has created a wine that is delicate and balanced with nice fresh acidity. 

I wore the winemaker’s hat this year and one of the wines I made was gewürztraminer.  I fermented it completely dry.  The ginger character comes through on the nose.  Not bad for a first-time shot.

Don’t be intimidated by the difficult name, get out there and try gewürztraminer – I know you’ll love it!



  1. Great job Andrea!

  2. I have tried gewurtztraminer and the one I had was too sweet for me, but I did enjoy the experience. I am so amazed by your wine knowledge, truly impressive. Thank you for informing me about where the name gewurtztraminer came from, I am going to definitely use that one to appear as though I know more about wines than I do!! Great post Andrea.

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