Gewürztraminer: The Distinctively Aromatic Wine

Not familiar with gewürztraminer? The name itself quite literally tells you what to expect. Gewürz translates as spice, and refers to the fact that the grape, originating from Alsace, is a spicy mutation of the traminer grape. The scion has eclipsed the parent; though traminer today is not well known, gewürztraminer (or gewurz, or gew) has proven itself a popular white aromatic wine, grown successfully across numerous regions and climates. The pink skinned grape has high natural sugar and therefore alcohol, and lower acidity. Though most gew are off-dry, styles range from rich and sweet to bone dry and taut. All well-made gewürztraminer characteristically carry a spicy note, that can range from a tickle to a full on Moroccan market. Other notes to look for in the glass include rose petals, lychee, cold cream and perfume. 


{geh VAIRTZ trah mee ner / geh vertz STRAW min ner


Summerhill Pyramid Winery
Organic Gewürztraminer 2013
Okanagan Valley, BC
*$20  +446468

This mid-sweet gew is positively glowing with peach nectar, blossoms, mandarin, tangerine peel, dried herbs and apricot fuzz before ending on a dusty froot loops note. Certified organic.


Zind Humbrecht
Gewürztraminer 2012
Alsace, France
$30  +510693

Impressive and serious, this wine changes with the temperature and grows with each day opened. Savoury stone, dry rasped spice, delicate wild flower blossoms, lime pith and bitter melon. Fantastic oily concentration on the palate before a very long finish.


Cono Sur
Bicicleta Gewürztraminer 2013
$10.99  + 494708

This spring-fresh wine is just off-dry, with white and pink flowers, ripe peach, pink grapefruit juiciness and baby powder perfume. A nice ribbon of concentrated spice throughout. Fantastic value for textbook gewürztraminer.


Alois Lageder
Gewürztraminer 2010
Sudtirol Alto Adige, Italy
*30  +366765

Terroir trumps grape here, in this aged example of gew from the mountains of northeast Italy. Oxidized notes work between lean orchard fruit, green apple, pear peel and dusty stone. The oily palate carries heaps of stony spice through to the bone dry finish.


PJ Valckenberg
Gewürztraminer 2012
Pfalz, Germany
$19.95   +541573

Great example of the generously cushioned, balanced wines characteristic of Germany’s warmer Pfalz region. Cinnamon and peach fuzz lead into a mid-sweet, round gew with heady blossom, ripe white peach and juicy pear. Enough pink grapefruit acidity to carry.


A Noble Blend 2013
Okanagan Valley, BC
$24  +138263

45% gewürztraminer joins friends riesling, pinot auxerois, pinot blanc, muscat and schoenberger in this very popular orchard basket blend. Crafted in the spirit of Edelzwicker, the traditional blend of Alsace, this off-dry medium-bodied aromatic is teeming with lime pulp, granny smith apple, lychee and baked spiced apples on the finish.


DRINKing Guide: How to use our purchasing information.
*Asterisks denote wines that are only available at the winery or select private liquor stores. Some may be in limited quantities. All other wines are available through BC Liquor Stores – visit or download the free BC LiquorStores iPhone App for locations and availability. Prices may vary.


Written By:

Treve Ring is a wine writer, editor, judge, consultant and certified sommelier, and has been with EAT Magazine for over a decade.\r\n\r\nIn addition to her work with EAT, she is a Wine Critic and National Judge for ...

Comments are closed.