The Traminer shares the genetic makeup of numerous popular varieties, and significantly for Austria, is the parent variety of ubiquitous Grüner Veltliner. Nowadays, the three Traminer varieties, Roter Traminer, Gelber Traminer and Gewürztraminer, are cultivated all over the Austrian wine regions, particularly in the Vulkanland and the wine town of Klöch in the Südoststeiermark.
Likely from southeast Europe
probably selected from wild vines
White wine grape variety
Believed to originate from south-eastern Europe. Records show that this variety was grown in South Tyrol as far back as the Middle Ages. In fact, Traminer was named after the South Tyrolean town of Tramin, which was known for its dynamic wine trade.
Supposedly selected from wild vines, Traminer is one of the oldest European grape varieties and is presumed to have been cultivated by the Romans as Vitis aminera. The variety is differentiated by the colours of its berries. Roter Traminer is red, Gewürztraminer is light red/pink, Gelber Traminer is yellow. The grapes also deliver different nuances of spiciness (“Gewürz” in German) influenced by the wine's own terroir. In terms of their name, however, all of these Traminer types may be referred to as Gewürztraminer. Traminer is often a parent in natural crossings, such as the case of Grüner Veltliner (Traminer x St. Georgen).
Although grown worldwide, the variety is mainly cultivated in Austria on small vineyards for the production of various specialities. In Austria, it is grown throughout all wine-growing regions, but Vulkanland Steiermark is particularly well-known and reputed for growing Traminer. Overall, however, the area under this variety is decreasing slightly.
Important ampelographic features
small, round, five lobes, lightly sinuated; wide overlapping petiole.
small, medium density, cone-shaped, shouldered, often with small secondary clusters; berries are round-to-oval, thick-skinned, yellow-to-red in colour depending on the variant; the flesh is firm, with low acidity, high sugar content and an intense spicy flavour.
Significance & conditions
This is a special variety for highly ripe bouquet wines. It is very demanding in terms of soil and location and particularly sensitive during flowering. This results in low yields, but grapes with a high sugar content.
Area under vine in Austria
(as a proportion of the variety’s total area)
Characteristics of the wine
The wines are low in acidity yet rich in extract and aromas (roses, citrus, wild strawberry, raisin and dried fruit). They keep well and have an excellent ageing potential. Prädikatswein made from this variety often has a residual sweetness and a subtle, harmonious acerbity.
Source varietal specifications: Höhere Bundeslehranstalt und Bundesamt für Wein- und Obstbau (Federal College and Federal Office for Viticulture, Oenology and Fruit Growing) in Klosterneuburg, “Austria’s Qualitätswein grape varieties and their clones“ („Österreichische Qualitätsweinrebsorten und deren Klone“), 2nd, reviewed edition, September 2015
Source area under vine: Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Regions and Tourism according to IACS (as at 31 May 2022)