A couple of interesting things here. First, yeah it’s Gewurztraminer. (it’s not as hard to say as many expect) Second, this is a different take on Rose and a good intro that not every grape is either green or darker in skin color. Gewurztraminer is more like pink……
Hi all, Mark Aselstine with Uncorked Ventures. So, I’m going to hold this up so you can get a little better look at it. So, this is a union sacre, which is a winery down on central coast and this is a Gewurztraminer. So, if you look, I’ll see if I can do this. So, first the back of the bottle, if you look at the back of the label, it’s one of the great unused marketing places that wineries have. And these guys actually put stuff on the back label. So, that’s kind of cool. So, if you look through something that’s kind of pale as far as wine goes, you can get a little something there on the back, and it’s just a little level of interest. I think that’s something that we’ll see a little bit more of as the years go by. One of the few places they can actually telemarketing message or show a picture or something without kind of having to change what they want to show on the front, so it’s kind of fun.
So in the newsletter for this, and this is expiration’s wine club wine. You’re going to get some more information on the winery, which I think is kind of cool, ’cause it’s a joint project between two folks, one American and one French. And, we’re going to talk a little bit about Gewurztraminer on the central coast and the kind of grape as a whole.
So, Gewurztraminer’s kind of one of those grapes that you’ve probably never heard of. People in the United States and really, much of the English speaking world won’t order it because they don’t think they can pronounce it correctly. And, frankly, have never had one. So, there’s a number of sales issues that go into it. So, it’s also kind of a strange grape. So, most people aren’t aware, we think of grapes as being either red or white. And, really white, when you see the actual berries, they’re green. But, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris are actually more pinkish than they are green. And that’s not where this actually comes from. Most Gewurztraminer is actually ends up being the color of a normal white wine, just like pinot gris does. So, one of the things that they do a little bit differently is they leave the contact with the skins a little bit longer, and instead of a white, you end up with something closer to a rose, which I think is kind of an interesting look at Gewurztraminer.
So, why is it so darn hard to find these? And it’s not just the name. The grape itself ripens really quickly, if it’s warm. So, it in essence eliminates 95 percent of all vineyard space. It’s a grape that’s native to the Swiss Alps. And you see it in parts of France and Italy, at higher elevations where it’s really cold. So, you have to have a really cool climate and often an altitude to grow the thing and there’s just not that many spots for it. Napa used to have a lot of it in the 50’s, and that was because it can be made into a sweet wine really easily. But, as sweet wines went out, and cabernet prices went through the stratosphere, everybody pulled the Gewurztraminer and put in Cabernet, makes sense.
So, only now are we starting to see more plantings of this around the central coast. And it’s really the only place in California where you can reasonably expect to grow it. I wish the Oregon folks would try more of it. There’s kind of this constant push and pull with rose, people in Oregon are so Pinot focused, much like in California, in Napa at least, maybe in much of the state, Cabernet focused. And so, you don’t ever want to make rose because it’s priced so much less than your pinot would be. So, I do wonder if maybe there’s some cooler vineyard climates that wouldn’t always to ripen pinot, that they could maybe make a Gewurztraminer rose. Instead of having to either bleed off to make a pinot or to intentionally plant pinot that you know is not going to ever get ripe to make a rose from. And, I think this is just a different level of interest.
So, I know this is a different one. I think it’s a good part of going club to expose people to different varieties, and different wine making styles. People think of rose as either bleed off, or a vineyard choice where you only can’t ripen something. And this is kind of a third entry into that. There’s not a lot of rose made this way with a pink skinned grape and leaving it on the skins for a little bit longer. It’s a traditional way to make rose but you don’t see it with this [fridal 00:04:09]. So I think it’s an interesting look. It’s a fun wine and as the summer gets here in more full force, I think it’s something that people will enjoy.
So, what are you going to taste with a Gewurztraminer? It’s really pineapple flavors that you end up, you get these tropical aromas. If you’ve ever heard of lychee, that’s the classic flavor and smell that you get from this. And, really, when you open the bottle, I think the first thing that I really strongly request that you do is, let it sit for ten or fifteen seconds and then take a smell. Gewurztraminer, it’s really made a name for itself because the aromas on it are so dramatic and, that’s why people like it. So, in any case, I’m Mark Aselstine with Uncorked Ventures and I hope you enjoy your monthly explorations wine club [showing 00:04:55].