Alto Adige meets Alsace at the home of Gewürztraminer
An international workshop on Gewürztraminer, carried out by Stephan Reinhardt of The Wine Advocate at the Tramin winery in Termeno (Bolzano), has highlighted the peculiarities of these two great winemaking terroirs. “They have something in common,” says Stephan Reinhardt. “Alto Adige and Alsace have a sunnier climate than Germany, another elect area for Gewürztraminer.”
Different altitudes and soils for Tramin
“The best areas for this variety,” Willi Stürz, winemaker at Tramin, explains, “are the hilly slopes between 350 and 550 metres, with eastern, southeastern and southern exposures. Here the excellent day-night temperature swings guarantee optimum conditions for Gewürztraminer.” The variety is grown on 21% of the winery’s vineyards, on different soils: dolomitic limestone or porphyry with a limestone surface layer. Microzones are vinified and partial vinification with the stalk is being experimented “to obtain more subtle wines”.
Richness and power for Albert Mann
“In Alsace, the growth season of Gewürztraminer is longer,” explains Jacky Barthelmé. “We have good day-night temperature swings and we grow the variety on granite and limestone soils up to 1000 metres of elevation, under biodynamic management. This enables us to obtain an extra point of acidity, which is an excellent result for grapes with late phenolic ripening, high sugar levels and low acidity.” As for style, the difference between the two wineries is clear. If the South Tyrolean Tramin favours finesse and elegance, the Alsatian Albert Mann focuses on richness and power. This is confirmed by the choice of residual sugar:
Selida 2018 (4,2 g/l), Nussbaumer 2016 (8,1) and Nussbaumer 2009 (8,6) by Tramin vs Gewürztraminer 2018 (16), Grand Cru Steingrubel 2016 (29) and Grand Cru Steingrubel 1995 (22) by Albert Mann
Epokale 2013 (46 g/l), Epokale 2009 (107) and Terminum 2016 (280) by Tramin vs Grand Cru Furstentum 2010 Vieilles Vignes (38), Vendanges Tardives 2014 (82) and Sélection de Grains Nobles 2010 (160) by Albert Mann