It's difficult to pronounce, sounds vaguely like a German term for your rear axle and has an umlaut over the 'u', all of which makes Gewurztraminer one of the most difficult grapes to fall in love with. And, to be honest, it's a great variety but one that splits opinion right down the middle.
Some people love its fragrant, floral smell - all white jasmine, rose petal and lychees - but others quite comfortably loathe it. Some adore its pungent oily white peach and apricot flavours while others won't even think of giving it the time of day.
'Gewürz' means 'spice' in German and that's exactly what you get: a nice kick of white pepper and a clean-cut zing on the finish of a decent version of the grape.
It's homeland is Germany, though it is actually planted far more in the French region of Alsace, which specialises in its cultivation. But, unlike Riesling, it isn't quite as well travelled as fans of it would like. Australia and New Zealand are currently experimenting with the odd version and I've tasted some great ones from Washington state in vineyards just above Seattle, but generally it's best sourced from Germany> or Alsace, with the odd one from Austria thrown in for good measure.
The Style of Gewurztraminer
Where do I find it? Alsace, Germany, Austria, Australia, New Zealand, Washington state and California.
What does it taste like? A mixed bag. In the main, white peach, lychees, with a touch of honey, though sometimes it can be more pineapple. Good racy zip to it and a spiciness as the last drop from each mouthful slips down the gullet.
Tell me something I didn't know: While it makes excellent white wine, the grape itself has a slightly pinkish tinge to its skin.