Traminer (Gewürztraminer, Roter Traminer, Gelber Traminer)
Origin: Likely from southeast Europe. In the Middle Ages, the variety was found in Südtirol (South Tyrol), now in northern Italy. In fact, Traminer was named after the lively South Tyrolean town of Tramin, long-established in the wine trade.
Parentage: Selected from wild vines, Traminer is one of the oldest European varieties and was even likely known by the Romans as Vitis aminera.
The variety is differentiated by its range of colours. Roter Traminer has red grapes; Gewürztraminer shows light red/pink grapes; and with yellow grapes it is the Gelber Traminer. These also deliver different spicy flavours influenced by their terroirs. Name-wise, all of the Traminer types can be referred to as Gewürztraminer. Traminer is often a natural crossing partner for other varieties, including the Grüner Veltliner (Traminer x St. Georgen).
Vineyard area: 284 ha, 0.6 %
Though grown worldwide, the variety is cultivated in Austria mainly on small vineyard sites for the production of specialities. The sites are spread over all of the country's wine-growing regions; the Südoststeirischen Vulkanland is particularly well-known for Traminer. Overall, however, the variety's representation in vineyards is decreasing.
Important ampelographic features
Leaf: small; round with five lobes; slightly sinuous; wide overlapping petiole
Grape cluster: small; medium density, conical, shouldered, often with small wings; grapes are round to oval with thick skins; firm flesh with low acidity, high sugar content and an intense spicy taste
Ripening time: mid- to late season
Significance, conditions: This is a special variety for highly ripe aromatic wines. Very demanding of soil and site. It is particularly sensitive during flowering - bringing low yields, but grapes with a high sugar content.
Wine: The wines are low in acidity, but rich in extract and aromas (roses, lemon, forest berry, raisin, dried fruit), have good durability and excellent ageing potential. Prädikat wines often have a residual sweetness and a discreet, harmonious bitter touch.