Demand For Traminette Increasing
Traminette is an interspecific hybrid grape cultivar that was bred in 1965 in Illinois. One of the notable parents of Traminette is GewÃ¼rztraminer. Traminette was publicly released by Cornell University in 1996, and has been increasingly used in many parts of the U.S. While this grape cultivar is much cold-hardier than its notable parent, it is still limited in where it can be grown.
One indication of the increasing popularity of Traminette is the number of entries in the 2012 Mid-American Wine Competition. The number of Traminette submitted increased by 50% between 2010 and 2011. Part of the reason for this increase might be attributed to the investment that the public and private sector has put into Traminette.
In 2009, the state of Indiana declared Traminette as the state’s signature wine. This declaration has been supported by the Indiana Wine Grape Council’s innovative marketing through the “Try on Traminette” campaign. The Indiana Wine Council’s website provides information on award winning Traminette wines, how to serve Traminette wines, and foods that will pair well with the flowery, aromatic varietal.
Not only has Traminette wine been well received in the industry, but grape growers are receiving higher prices for it as well. According to the 2012 Finger Lakes Grape Price Survey, Traminette grapes command a 20% higher price than Vignoles and ~40% more than Seyval and Vidal.
We are likely to see even more increases in grape and wine quality from Traminette. Purdue University in Indiana is actively promoting production practices that can be used to grow quality Traminette grapes and produce quality wine. Cluster exposure is one of the key factors that is directly correlated to increased concentration of terpenes (floral aromas) in Traminette. Berry color at harvest is also correlated with terpene concentration and can be used as a barometer for fruit quality. Fruit with more yellow color had greater concentrations of terpenes than greener berries. It is also suggested that Traminette be harvested at a temperature less than 65F to preserve its aroma. Traminette wine aroma descriptors have also been developed by the viticulture and enology group at Purdue.
Since its inception, the Mid-American Wine Competition has always had a separate category for judging Traminette. Traminette wines have been represented in the Competition nearly every year. In 2011, the Best White Wine in the Competition was a Traminette from Adam Puchta Winery in Missouri. We at the Mid-American Wine Competition believe that the future of Traminette is bright and anticipate both an increase in quantity of entries and quality of Traminette wines entered.
This article is joint venture between Midwest Wine Press and The Mid-American Wine Competition
Photo Courtesy of Cornell University