Before we get started let’s get the pronunciation on the grape out of the way:
‘ga-VERTZ-trah-MEE-ner’ It’s a tough one!
Alexander Valley Vineyards decided a few years ago that the Gewurz was one of those wines
perfectly suited to bottle under a screw cap. This due to the fact that the wine should ideally be consumed within a few years of its vintage date.
The Gewurz in Gewurztraminer comes from the German word for spice, (the grape naturally has a spicy character). Tramin is a small town in Italy.
Alexander Valley Vineyards (AVV) was founded by Maggie and Harry Wetzel in 1962. They purchased a large plot of land and homestead in Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley, which was originally owned by Cyrus Alexander. For the next few years the couple raised livestock, tended to the orchards and restored Alexander’s original home to its former glory.
The inspiration to plant grape vines came from neighboring Napa Valley, and in 1975 Alexander Valley Vineyard’s first wine was released.
AVV can be viewed as a rather large winery operation, producing around 100,000 cases each year, with 17 different varietal wines and proprietary blends. 75% of the AVV output is red wine. Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon constitute roughly half of total production. Other varietals include Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Syrah, Sangiovese, Viognier, Cabernet Franc and of course Gewurztraminer.
Place (click map for larger view)
Mendocino County can be viewed as one of the Northern-most wine grape growing regions in California. It certainly doesn’t enjoy the prestige that Napa and Sonoma do, but if you do a little searching you’ll find some extremely interesting wines! In fact that should be your homework for this week!!! Go out and find a wine from Mendocino County!
The first vineyards came to Mendocino in the 1850s, after the gold rush.
28% of Mendocino County’s grapes used in winemaking are certified organic or Biodynamic –substantially higher than any other region in the U.S. Alexander Valley Vineyards is a Certified Green Business.
Gewurztraminer is the third most planted grape in Mendocino County, trailing Chardonnay in first and Sauvignon Blanc in second.
A little effervescence upon pouring into the glass as you’ll find with a number of screw-cap wines.
The Gewurz definitely delivers for the money. The stereotypical lychee, nutmeg, cinnamon, peach and apricot on the nose. All these flavors really come together on the palate, with pear, a little honey, nectarine and rose petals. No oak. A smidge of residual sugar, but maintains a great balance with the acidity.
12.8% alcohol means this wine is made for food!
Spicy Asian, Chinese or Thai food is a fairly safe bet, but also think about seafood with a little spice, Cajun, coconut crusted shrimp or grilled salmon.
I don’t know why, but I just got an urge to try this wine with my Mother-in-Law’s Shrimp Alfredo…
Around $10-$12 retail