What is Gewürztraminer?

Gewürz is the wine student's favourite – it's the first grape variety you learn to recognise because of its exotic aroma. Depending on the style it is a pale to deep gold colour.

It made its name in Alsace, North-East France, a region renowned for its rich, aromatic wines, including Riesling and Pinot Gris.

Alsace specialises in two sweet wine styles: VT, 'Vendange Tardive' ('late harvest', where the grapes are left longer to ripen more) and SGN 'Sélection de Grains Nobles' (the finest selection of the very sweetest grapes).

Gewürz did fall out of fashion, along with many Alsace wines, as its heady aroma and richness did not match with the fashion for bone dry Sauvignon Blancs. However it is becoming more popular. First, because Alsace wines are fashionable once more, and second, because some New World winemakers are having success. Most notable is Chilean Adolfo Hurtado of Cono Sur, who has vineyards in Casablanca and in Bío-Bío in the chilly south.

Main characteristics

Colour: white

Body: medium to full bodied

Tastes: heady aromas of lychees and roses, then full bodied and velvety in the mouth

AKA: Roter Traminer (Germany)

Often blended with: rarely blended

Keep or drink? drink; except for Alsace's finest wines, and top quality dessert wine styles which can go on and on

Price range: £6.99- £15.99