Country of origin: Germany or Italy
Berry color: Pink
Common synonyms: Traminer, Rotclevner, Rousselet, Frenscher, Edeltraube
Comments: The TTB-approved prime name is Gewurztraminer.
Gewürztraminer is an aromatic variety grown throughout the world, most notably in Alsace, France. However, the variety may have originated in what is now Italy. Once grown in many parts of California, Gewürztraminer is now predominately planted in coastal counties in cool locations.
Gewürztraminer has a trailing growth habit, and if planted on deep, fertile soils it may be vigorous depending on training and pruning. It is prone to poor fruit set, and thus is considered to be low yielding. Widely spaced rows should be avoided if possible in order to increase planting density and yield per acre. Gewürztraminer’s early budbreak makes it sensitive to frost.
Gewürztraminer’s early leafing habit makes it vulnerable to spring frosts. Varietal character develops late in the ripening period. Harvesting too early results in wines lacking in varietal character. Gewürztraminer should only be grown in cool regions due to its low acid content.
Gewürztraminer produces distinctive wines with a spicy, floral aroma. Table wines are usually slightly sweet to offset its natural bitterness. Excellent dessert wines can also be produced from this variety.
Foundation Plant Services at UC Davis is the source of Foundation grapevine material for the nursery industry, and the staff can provide information about possible sources for obtaining this stock.
The National Grape Registry (NGR) contains information about varieties of wine, juice, and table grapes, raisins, and grape rootstocks available in the United States. Growers, nurseries, winemakers and researchers can find background information and source contacts for those grape varieties in this single convenient location.
Smith, R. and E. Weber. 2003. Gewurtztraminer (PDF). Pages 66-69 in: Wine Grape Varieties in California. University of California Agricultural and Natural Resources Publication 3419, Oakland, CA. Buy book