Pennsylvania Wine School: What is a Traminette?

Chambour-huh? Vidal who? Need some help demystifying some of Pennsylvania’s most essential wine words? The PA Wine Land Post is at your service, schooling you on the grapes you need to know.

Varietal: Traminette (pronounced tra-men-et).

Grown: Across Pennsylvania, but particularly in the southeast and northcentral regions.

Similar to: Gewürztraminer.

Traminette is an American-born hybrid, the baby of Gewürztraminer and the French-American varietal, Joannes Seyve. Developed at the University of Illinois in the 1960s, this vine was originally intended as a white table grape, but soon it revealed its potential in winemaking thanks to its complex flavor, productivity, and ability to withstand the cold.

Like its parent Gewürztraminer, Traminette is a versatile, beguiling grape. It exudes spicy and floral aromas, alongside flavors of lychee, apricot, and honey. These white wines can be made in off-dry and dry styles — the later often exhibit notes of apple and citrus. Thanks to its distinctive perfume, all it takes is a taste of this varietal to get hooked.

The brightness of Traminette pairs well with rich foods such as roasted meats and portobello mushrooms. It’s also a lovely complement to spicy flavors; think Cajun shrimp or dumplings with chili oil. Putting together a cheese plate? Lean towards something strong and firm — think sheep’s milk manchego, aged cheddar, or funky gruyere.

Below is a sampling of PA Traminette wines for you to try from all across PA Wine Land. Check your local wineries for more Traminette wines.

NorthWest:
Arundel Cellars, Traminette
Yori Wine Cellars, Traminette

NorthCentral:
Happy Valley Vineyards & Winery, Traminette
Shade Mountain Winery, Great White Traminette

NorthEast:
Wood Winery, Traminette
Maiolatesi Wine Cellars, Sparkling Traminette

SouthWest:
R Wine Cellars, Traminette
Woody Lodge Winery, Traminette

SouthCentral:
Cullari Vineyards & Winery, Traminette
Olivero’s Vineyard, Traminette

SouthEast:
Chaddsford Winery, Artisan Series Traminette
Vynecrest Vineyards & Winery, Traminette

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