A Winemaking Update:
On October 3, 2008, we purchased 150 lbs (enough for about 10 gallons) of Traminette grapes from a vineyard in Nauvoo, Illinois to make a fruit-forward styled white wine. Traminette is a white grape and a cross between Gewurztraminer and Joannes Seyve 23-416 (a hybrid released by the Geneva NY research station in 1996) and designed to tolerate colder climates, such as parts of Iowa and the Midwest, and makes an easily drinkable white wine.
We crushed the grapes using a water bladder press at my friend, Brett’s winery (Old Windmill Cellars). After determining initial refractometer readings of 19.2 Brix (equivalent to ~10% potential alcohol) at crush we decided to increase the Brix to 21, giving us a potential alcohol of 11.5%. Initial pH of 3.05 and TA of 7.65 seemed pretty good. After a brief cold soak, to allow sediment to settle, we racked off the gross lees into a new vessel and inoculated the must with Red Star Cotes De Blancs yeast and continued with cold fermentation (low 50’s) until dry. We could really detect the Gewurztraminer parent in our new wine! Nice.
Just now I took a small sample of the Traminette to see how it was progressing and am quite pleased. The wine is in the final stages of cold stabilization and consequently the sample was very cold at first taste – but even then it was tasty. As my glass warms to serving temperature, I find it to be very pleasing with hints of Gewurztraminer (floral and spicy), nice acidity, and an incredibly inviting fragrance. Though many makers of Gewurztraminer and Traminette frequently sweeten this lively wine, our goals are to leave it dry.
Tends to pair well with poultry, seafood, and Asian-styled food.