The Origins of Traminette

April 2015- Traminette and Bottling

The Origins of Traminette

By Gabriel Miller

For lovers of aromatically intense wines, the grape variety Traminette provides a euphoric experience that dances gracefully out of the glass. This fantastic, but sometimes overlooked white grape variety possesses an enormous potential for great fine wines and is perfect to pair with some of your favorite springtime activities.

The grape Traminette was created in 1965 when a viticulturist at the University of Illinois cross bred the classic European wine grape Gewurztraminer with an American hybridized grape known as Joannes Seyve 23.416. The idea behind this cross was to create a grape with much of Gewurztraminer’s traditional flavors and aromas, but that would be better suited for the growing conditions in the Midwestern and Northeastern portions of the United States. This experiment proved to be a success as Traminette has flourished since its initial creation 50 years ago, displaying much of the same great floral and fruit qualities of Gewurztraminer while also containing some of its own unique characteristics as well. Traminette is best known for having a beautifully developed aroma and bouquet that displays wonderful floral and fruit aromas such as rose petal, red grapefruit, apricot, and peach. This grape variety usually lends itself to lighter bodied wines that are generally softened with a touch of sweetness to round out some of its acid. Wines made from Traminette grapes are best served chilled, and provide a great and refreshing glass to be enjoyed on the back patio or deck on a warm day.

While Traminette surely shines on its own merits, pairing this wine with food can bring forth countless opportunities to tantalize the taste buds and create fantastic culinary delights. Asian foods, especially spicy or peanut based, pair incredibly well with wines made from the Traminette grape. Also, pastas made with white sauce, many fish dishes, and many different white cheeses all harmonize perfectly with this unique and wonderful grape. Wines made from Traminette are great go to wines for many holiday dishes, as they tend to pair wonderfully with turkey, stuffing, many kinds of wild game, pumpkin and pecan pies and even deviled eggs.

Traminette truly is an exquisite grape variety that combines powerful aromatics and flavors with distinguished grace to create dynamic and complex wines. Traminette’s refreshing qualities and its ability to pair with food are great reasons to try this wonderful fine wine for nearly any occasion.