Today’s Wine of the Week series is dedicated to another successful crossing: Traminette. The white grape variety was initially bred as a table grape, but its quality, spiciness and floral aromas decided otherwise!
What is Traminette?
Traminette is a relatively recent addition to the winemaking world: in 1965, while at the University of Illinois, Herb Barrett attempted to produce a table grape by crossing Gewürztraminer and the French-American varietal Joannes Seyve 23-416. The grape was not officially released until 1996, and became one of the higher-quality hybrid grapes, finding favor in states like New York (especially in the Hudson Valley), Virginia and Indiana – where it is the signature grape variety.
Traminette is known to be more winter-hardy and disease resistant than its parent Gewürztraminer, making it suited to the continental climates of the more inland states. Traminette is an easy and reliable grape, making it a smart choice for winegrowers in states where the climate is difficult for growing Vitis vinifera.
Traminette and its styles
Traminette wines are characteristic of Gewürztraminer: spicy, fragrant wines with floral aromas. They are generally made in both dry and off-dry styles. The latter not only show some spice, but also lush honey and apricot, while the dry style is more austere, with apple and citrus flavors.
Traminette with food
Traminette makes a perfect accompaniment to spicy food and Asian cuisine. Try it with some chili and ginger salmon or a roasted pork loin.
2006 Fulkerson Traminette
2008 Goose Watch Winery Traminette
2010 Whitecliff Vineyard Traminette
2013 Rooster Hill Vineyards Traminette