About 135 Grape varieties are currently permitted for the cultivation in Germany. The German Wine Law specifies which kind of grapes may be used for the production of wine. Among the Grape Varieties are solely 35 red wine grapes, but the ratio of planted red grapes on German vineyards is increasing steadily. In 2011, around 64% of the whole wine stock were white grape varieties compared to 71% ten years ago.
Especially popular White Wine Grape Varieties are the well-known Riesling, which is planted on 22% (22.636 ha in 2011) of all German vineyards, followed by the Mueller-Thurgau (Rivaner) with 13.1% market share and the Silvaner Grape (5.08%). The grape variety Gewuerztraminer can be found on less than 1% of German vineyards, though it can produce outstanding Wines.
Traditional Grape Variety that divides Minds
Gewuerztraminer originates in the German-speaking Province South Tyrol in Northern Italy in the Town of Tramin, which explains the Name-Giving. It is an old Variety that has been often prized for its high Quality. The Grape Variety is also called Traminer Mosque, Gertie, solely Gewuerz or Gewurztraminer without the Umlaut in France.
The White Grape was planted on 0.8% of the German Vineyards in 2011 and is most popular in Baden and Pfalz (Palatinate), where it is known as Clevner. The Variety goes often with the Synonym Roter (Red) Traminer in Germany but despite its pink to red skin color it is a white wine grape. The term “Gewuerz” can be translated into English as spice or condiment, which describes the spicy and very distinctive flavor of the Gewuerztraminer. This is particularly true for the Grapes from Alsace, whereby Gewuerztraminer from Pfalz or Palatinate is less distinctive and austere.
Distinctive with an Aroma of Roses
The grapes have a high amount of natural sugar and are usually off-dry with an aromatic, pronounced flavor. The bouquet can be compared with the Aroma of the Lychee Fruit. Drier Gewuerztraminer may have the aroma of roses or passion fruits. Its spicy and distinctive flavor makes the Gewuerztraminer very suitable for the pairing with spicy Asian dishes. The Wine also matches well with Game, smoked Salmon and Hirtenkaese.
Gewuerztraminer grows best in cooler Climates and is almost frost-resistant. On the other hand, the grapes demand warm sites and soil with good drainage. The Ripening begins usually in the end of September and the yield can vary a lot, depending on the weather conditions. The purpose for cultivating this Grape variety is not profitability but its unique attributes.