Traminer was first recognized in the village of Tramin (Termeno) in the Italian Tyrol about AD 1,000. Traminer has been known in Alsace since the Middle Ages and was noted for its ripeness levels and depth of flavors. Recent DNA profiling has shown that Pinot and Traminer, two of Europe's oldest vinifera grape varieties, are connected by a parent-offspring relationship. Like Pinot, Traminer is genetically unstable and Gewürztraminer was the name adopted in the 19th century for the red-berried musqué mutation of Traminer. Although the most common translation of Gewürz is "spice", in this context it most likely translates as "perfumed". The name was officially adopted in Alsace in 1973, and if you think Gewürztraminer is hard to pronounce, try Christkindlestraube (Germany), Diše?i Traminec (Czechoslovakia) and Traminac Mirisavi Crveni (Slovakia). In addition to its sensitive nature, this variety has small clusters which, on average at Navarro, weigh less than 4 ounces. Alsatian viticulturists have long recognized Gewürz's shy-bearing nature and to compensate, they developed the Arc-cane system of pruning which adds about 20% more fruitful buds than the Burgundian Guyot system.
Gewürztraminer clusters with millerandage and coulure .
Harvesting Gewürztraminer. Navarro's harvest crew consists of eighteen pickers, two tractor drivers and three sorters to inspect fruit and remove any stray leaves.
The grapes from each field were destemmed then the juice was fermented and aged as separate vineyard lots in French oak ovals and in April 2012, a blend was selected from the best ovals and the best vineyard lots. Traditionally served with pork, but we love Gewürz with Pad Thai and curry. Gold Medal winner. Best of Class.
Gewürztraminer is especially sensitive to springtime weather; frequently our harvests are reduced, so that Gewürz becomes Navarro's shyest bearer. Millerandage (shot berry) is when the berries form with different numbers of seeds; the larger berries, about a half inch in diameter, contain the normal two seeds. The smaller berries have one seed and contain much less juice. Coulure (shatter) occurs after the berries have formed in early summer and some fail to mature. We've experienced vintages where over half the potential Gewürztraminer crop was lost to shatter.