Traminer (Gewürztraminer) and Pink Traminer, is a white wine grape variety that originates from the region of Tyrol (Austria) and South Tyrol (Italy).
It gets its name from the name of the village of Tramin, which is located in South Tyrol. Traminer is a long-known variety that has retained some of its primitive characteristics over the years. It is prized mainly for its aroma and because it is a specially created variety, it is never planted in large quantities.
In addition to Austria and Italy, Traminer is also distributed in Croatia, Germany, France, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Romania, USA, Ukraine, Hungary, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, etc. In Australia, the variety has long been well known, but it was not until 1983 that the areas planted with it reached 800 hectares.
In the last 50 years, wine has slightly turned its back on the oriental aromas of Traminer and today the market importance of the variety can be defined as symbolic. However, this does not apply to Alsace, where the variety is classified as noble, but there it is specifically about Gewürztraminer, as well as unique soils and winemaking styles.
Features of Traminer
Traminer is the less aromatic and lighter-colored predecessor of Gewürztraminer, which, as mentioned, takes its name from the village of Tramin in Italy. Traminer is often used as a synonym for Gewürztraminer in different countries.
Gewürztraminer grapes have a reddish color and produces extremely aromatic, spicy and heavy white wines. Many of the young tasters say that it is the first and even the only variety that they are able to recognize unmistakably.
The origin of the world-famous variety is interesting. The original variety was Traminer, which is similar to Gewürztraminer, but has light green grapes and is not as aromatic. Traminer is a highly mutation-prone variety, with Gewürztraminer emerging as the name for one mutant form with a reddish color – Musque.
The Traminer variety is not one of the easiest - neither in the vineyards, nor in the cellars and not even in the glasses. Getting it to a high alcohol percentage is not a problem, but the acidity level can be dangerously low at times, resulting in heavy wines with a bitter taste.
Traminer is a disease resistant variety, but when grown in cool areas. When the climate is hot, traminer is more susceptible to various diseases and develops much more slowly. In cool regions, the leaves of the bunches are large and very rough. The pods are small and compact, with a very short stalk and the closely spaced buds make picking by hand difficult.
The grapes are small and elliptical and in some cases both large and small grapes can be seen on the same bunch. They have a deep pink coloration when grown in cooler areas.
Traminer wines, produced from vineyards in a hot climate, cannot be distinguished by special qualities.
Traminer has a dense and powerful body, as well as an exotic aroma that very quickly satiates the senses. This white wine is not easy to pair with foods, but there are still a few main combinations. The fruit are extremely suitable for this wine, especially oranges and tropical fruit such as mango, pineapple and papaya.
With spices, it is good to emphasize on ginger, curry, cinnamon or cloves. Another possible combination of Traminer wine is smoked cheeses. Smoked mozzarella and gouda are best for this wine.
Pretentious traminer goes well most successfully with smoked, salty and sweet foods. A combination with sour dishes is unacceptable, as well as with delicately cooked poultry and seafood, because the wine will overpower the dish.
A mandatory condition for serving Traminer is that the wine is well chilled. It can be safely summed up that there is no middle ground with Traminer - its aromas strain the senses and its difficult combination with food pushes to two extremes - either hate or love at first sight.