Gewürztraminer is German term which means "spicy (or perfumed) grape from Traminer," Gewürztraminer grapes are a cloned offshoot of the Traminer white grape, a variety that is uncommon today. Gewürztraminer flavors and aromas include spices, roses, passion fruit, and lychees. Other Gewürztraminer characteristics include high alcohol content and deep gold coloring. Although used to produce a white wine, Gewürztraminer grapes have pink or even red skins.
Growing Gewürztraminer Grapes
Gewürztraminer grapes grow best in cooler climates but they are susceptible to frost and need warm summers to ripen properly. Gewürztraminer grapes can also be difficult to grow if the soil isn't just right. Gewürztraminers produce more sugars than most white wine grapes and thus produce sweeter wines.
Although the name is German, Gewürztraminer grapes are grown most widely not in modern-day Germany, but in the Alsace region of France. These French Gewürztraminer wines are full-bodied, low in acidity, and strong with aromas of roses, lychees, and flowers. It used to be the norm for French Gewürztraminer wines to be fairly dry and a few produces continue this tradition. Today, however, it's more common for French Gewürztraminer wines to be lighter and fruitier to appeal to contemporary tastes.