Good Fruit Grower

September 2011

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 27 of 39

Traminette–Indiana's signature wine White, light, fruity, aromatic, but hardier than its parent, Gewürztraminer. by Richard Lehnert A Traminette was named and released by Cornell University in 1996 and has been widely planted across the Midwest. fter 15 years of establishing its credentials, Traminette has won its place as the grape behind the signature wine of Indiana. For the last year and a half, the Indiana Wine Grape Council, with about $20,000 a year in state funding, has run a "Try on Traminette" promotion to encourage Hoosiers to visit local wineries and try this white, light, fruity, aromatic Gewürztraminer-style wine. Indiana has 54 wineries, and more than 30 now make Traminette, up from 15 two years ago. In support of the wine, the Purdue Wine Grape Action Team did its work. Purdue University viticulture professor Dr. Bruce Bordelon devel- oped a publication on Traminette vineyard management; his colleague enology professor Dr. Christian Butzke developed a publication on Traminette winemaking; and colleague Dr. Jeanette Merritt, a marketing specialist for the Indiana Wine Grape Council, developed the Try on Traminette marketing campaign. The winemakers of Indiana did their part. Fourteen wineries won "In a bad year, it's still good, and in a good year, it's fantastic." —Bruce Bordelon WE MAKE YOUR JOB EASIER! &!)$(" &!(&)$(" =)667,%2-2',)6:-()*35 2%553:75))53:64%'-2+6 +,-$& .($-( ').(- )( (1/$&& +.(($("" + $ " "!#!"! )0)--)+ )0#.--& ).& )+% +).()" +),-( )()'1!- )$(-)+%, )$(-$$!- )(/ 1)+, + $"#-- .+(1&(*+1 +, :::4,-0&53:2:)0(-2+'31 PHIL BROWN WELDING CORP. ,32) • %; • >-0) ($32/0-2-',-+%2 28 SEPTEMBER 2011 GOOD FRUIT GROWER =!5%'73513827)(9%09) -6%9%-0%&0) =<(5%80-'(5-9)25300)5',%-2 *35032+61337,34)5%7-32 ="6)6);-67-2+75%'735 ,<(5%80-'6<67)1 =(.867%&0),-7',*35(-**)5)27 (5%:&%5,)-+,76 = )%513827)(%8731%7-' &3;67347345)9)2760-(-2+ medals for their Traminettes in the 2010 Indy International Wine Compe- tition, and French Lick Winery won not only Traminette of the Year but White Wine of the Year, beating 1,000 entries from 15 countries. Bordelon said he believes Traminette has been the most-planted variety in the Midwest since about 2000. In Indiana, acreage now is probably greater than Chardonel and perhaps even Chambourcin, which were the top two varieties. There are only about 600 acres of wine grapes in Indiana, and these three each have more than 100 acres. Among the things Bordelon likes about Traminette as the signature grape is that it grows well across the whole state of Indiana, north to south, but expresses itself differ- ently enough to present several styles. No best style has yet been picked. Butzke has developed "clouds" to describe the wines. Words appear in a cluster, and the different type sizes indicate the strength of the characteristic flavor and aroma found in the wine. Wines from the north have a strong rose aroma, with other aromas of apricot, peach, and passion fruit appearing medium size, while pear, honey, ginger, and apple are in smaller type. The southern cloud uses the words grapefruit and spice large, with lemon, lime, peach, and lychee midsize, and honey- suckle, tangerine, apricot, and pineapple in smaller letters. Most of these stem from aromatic compounds called monoterpenes, which develop strongly when fruit is exposed to sunlight. "Traminette has three times the level of the monoterpene cis-rose oxide of Gewürztraminer," Bordelon said. The wine can be too flowery, too perfumy, he said, and sometimes needs blending. In managing the variety, growers need to practice leaf pulling and proper canopy management to get sunlight on the fruit. "We're doing chemical analysis of the winning wines from the Indy competition to see what characteristics enticed the judges to give the medals," he said. In northern Indiana, he said, where the season is shorter and the climate cooler, the grape keeps higher lev- els of malic acid as it ripens in September. Total acidity is higher. Typically, the fruit achieves 22° Brix and 3.2 pH across the state. "Traminette is consistent. It makes good wine every year," he said. "In a bad year, it's still good, and in a good year, it's fantastic." Building the Best Since 1964! cornell university

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Good Fruit Grower - September 2011