Gewürztraminer means “spicy”, and possibly from Tramin, a village in Alto Adige (it’s up for debate). Alto Adige is the homeland of this aromatic wonder. Discover why you’ve never truly known this grape until you’ve tasted it from the source.

What Does Alto Adige Gewürztraminer Taste Like?

With a wine that smells so sweet and floral, it might surprise you that many Alto Adige Gewürztraminer wines taste dry. On the nose, Gewürztraminer is a mixture of rosewater, cloves, ginger, and honey, along with lychee and, when aged, hazelnut.

It's soft and somewhat oily on the palate and sometimes a hint sweet. However, in Alto Adige, you'll find these wines typically have more freshness (acidity) and a subtle bitter note on the finish balancing the intense sweet character.

It's Alto Adige’s climate and elevation that gives these grapes more freshness (acidity) and a subtle bitter note on the finish that helps create balance. Few grapes have this power and intensity.

Gewürztraminer in Tramin. It has pink skins but produces white wines. Photo by Christine Marsiglio.

What foods work with Gewürztraminer?

Due to its intensity of aroma and flavor, it’s best to look for intense and flavorful dishes to pair with these wines. Foie gras or pâté works well, as do stinky cheese, like Taleggio. These wines have enough acidity to cut through the fat too.

Aromatic dishes match up with this scented variety, like Thai green curry and Moroccan tagines too.

Where to look for Great Gewürztraminer

Gewürztraminer is grown throughout the Alto Adige DOC. It’s the second most planted white grape variety in the region. You can find Gewürztraminer in Val Venosta and Valle Isarco.

Valle Isarco wines will be lighter and focus more on the floral aromatics of the grape. Val Venosta, being a bit warmer, tends to have riper fruit flavors and a fuller body.

Some helpful tips for finding your Gewürztraminer:

  • Gewürztraminer is a bit of a diva and is fussy about where it grows. Some of the best wines come from around the village of Tramin (Termeno).
  • Check out aged Gewürztraminer - many underestimate its potential.
  • Most of the wines will taste dry, so if you don’t like residual sugar, don’t worry; you won’t taste it here thanks to the freshness.

Wineries to check out for Gewürztraminer

Cantina Tramin: Specialists in Gewürztraminer, they make "Epokale" - a single variety wine that Robert Parker Jr awarded 100 points.

Elena Walch: The Vigna Kastelaz Gewürztraminer is a single vineyard expression coming from the Tramin village.

Alto Adige Gewürztraminer Wines