Chat sets Gewürztraminer apart from other whites has a lot to do with its telltale tasting note of lychee and roses. That floral, tropical aroma is unmistakable. In fact, those aromas make Gewürztraminer one of the most recognizable aromatic wines in the world. Though Gewürztraminer is originally from Germany, it might come as a surprise to budding wine lovers that France’s Alsace region has made a gold star name for itself with this spicy, floral grape. The French, using the grapes (and umlauts) of another country? Perish the thought! This makes a little more sense when you realize that Alsace is right on the German border. In fact, through several centuries and countless treaties and wars, Alsace has gone from being German to French and back again.
And although Alsace is loved for its Gewürztraminer, it’s far from the only place that grows it. California, Australia, Italy, Romania, and (of course) Germany are just a few of the places that Gewürztraminer has made itself popular among winemakers. Many Alsatians speak a dialect of their own, making the region a bit French.
unique white wine
In a challenge where you’re trying to taste your way through different countries, Gewürztraminer almost feels like a two-for-one special. With both French and German influences, it’s easy to see how some wine enthusiasts have become particularly intoxicated by this pungent wine, and we’re no different. Want to learn more about this aromatic beauty? Check out our full guide to Gewürztraminer.
For our tasting purposes, we went with a bottle of Gewürztraminer from Alsace: a Germany-bordering region in France that’s easily the most respected place in the world for this floral grape.
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.– BILLI REUSS
It’s pretty common to find this grape made with carbonic maceration (thus, the “banana” flavor in some wines), which helps reduce some of the herbaceous-ness. Still, there’s something about this grape (and the island) that’s other-worldly. Flavors seem to balance between overly fruity and seriously earthy. It’s no wonder that this wine pops up in “in the know” NYC wine bars. Xinomavro really reminds us of Barolo when done right, but with a slight savory quality that brings up visions of aged Tempranillo.