Gewürztraminer, a cool white

Today we harvested our Naramata Bench estate Gewürztraminer. Surprisingly rare, there is only about 20,000 acres planted around the globe, yet is is one of Europe’s most lauded varietals. A noble grape that has been described as the “grownup version of Moscato”, Gewürztraminer is one of the 4 Grand Cru grapes of Alsace and has been produced in the region for hundreds of years. Although Gewürztraminer is technically a white grape, it has a pinkish skin colour on the vine and the resulting juice is often a rich gold, owing to its highly pigmented skin and juice. The varietal typically ripens fast, and thus performs best when planted somewhere relatively cool, if it is to develop any discernible perfume. The grapes also need to be harvested at perfect ripeness to avoid bitterness, high alcohol and overt sweetness. The variety has high natural sugar and fairly low acidity with the wines often produced in off-dry style, with an intense bouquet of lychees. Indeed, Gewürztraminer and lychees share the same aroma compounds! While dry style Gewürztraminers often show aromas of roses, passion fruit and floral notes. A mouthful to pronounce, Gewürztraminer’s name means “spicy” or “perfumed” Traminer in German, though in wine regions around the world it is called a plethora of various nicknames.

We recently released our 2018 Gewürztraminer, a small lot, club only wine with less than 350 cases made. Enticingly aromatic, this vintage displays a bouquet of orange blossom and rose petal, with hints of ginger and lychee. The palate is round with a rich texture and underlying flavours of orange zest and luscious pear. Made with fruit from our Naramata Bench estate and Vista Lago vineyard in Oliver, our winemaker cold soaked the grapes for 6 hours before pressing to ensure maximum extraction of aromatic monoterpenes through skin contact. The juice was then put in stainless steel and 6 neutral French oak barrels. The stainless portion was fermented at cool temperatures (12°C) over 4 weeks to maintain the bright aromatics. The barrel portion of the fruit was fermented spontaneously in French barrels to give fullness and weight to the palate.

A dry, yet juicy wine that is fabulously versatile. Enjoy as an apéritif or pair with Moroccan cuisine, your favourite Asian food or traditional Alsatian fare.

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