PENN YAN, NY (Monday, Aug. 26) — Traminette – it sounds like a musical instrument or a piece of furniture, but it’s neither one of those things.
Traminette is a white wine with strong local roots that has long stood in the shadow of its popular parent in the Finger Lakes, Gewurztraminer, as well as the Rieslings.
Amy Hoffman would like to change that. As co-founder and president of Rooster Hill Vineyards Hoffman is planning a “Try on Traminette” promotion at the winery throughout the month of September.
The name Traminette trips off the tongue like a glass of the wine itself, but the vintage is not as well known as many other Finger Lakes varieties. At Rooster Hill next month, guests in the tasting room will be given a brief review of the Traminette grape, its origins, characteristics and suggested food pairings.
Hoffman explained that the Traminette grape is a cross of the French American hybrid Joannes Seyve 23.416 and the German Vitis vinifera cultivar Gewurztraminer made by Herb C. Barrett in the mid-1960s at the University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign. Barrett’s intention was to produce a large, clustered table grape with the flavor of Gewürztraminer.
When he left Illinois, Barrett sent the cross to the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station grape breeding program in Geneva so scientists at the Cornell University station could develop the grape, Hoffman said.
Grape breeders in Geneva found Traminette to have excellent wine quality, good productivity, partial resistance to fungal diseases, and cold hardiness superior to Gewürztraminer, while retaining a similar character to its parent.
Hoffman noted that Traminette produces solid yields, ranging in studies from 12 to 22 pounds per vine on average.
Traminette is much better known in other places. Traminette thrives well in the Midwest, especially in the hot summers and cold winters of Indiana, where it has been named the signature grape of the state, according to the Midwest Wine Geek blog.
The blog said Traminette wines have a floral and spicy flavor, much like Gewurztraminer, and like Gewurztraminer they best stand up to spicy and complex dishes, such as many Asian and pork recipes.
As part of the promotion during September, Rooster Hill will give customers a “Hip to Sip Rooster Hill” insulated wine carrier if they buy three bottles of wine. The carrier has a $5.95 value.
Rooster Hill is located at 489 Route 54 on the east side of Keuka Lake near Penn Yan. The winery has been cited by Wine Enthusiast and Wine Spectator magazines for the quality of its wines and has been awarded more than 220 medals in its 10-year history. For more details, call 315-536-4773, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website www.roosterhill.com.
Rooster Hill, which grows its own Estate grapes, is in the heart of Finger Lakes Wine Country in upstate New York. Finger Lakes Wine Country is the largest concentration of wineries east of California, boasting more than 100 wineries producing world-class wine. For more about the region, go to www.fingerlakeswinecountry.com.