By Lisa Rowlands

Chiefly associated with the the sherry-like ‘Vin Jaune’ - a speciality wine characterised by its deep yellow colour and rich nutty flavours, Traminer - under its alias Savagnin - is also a permitted variety in all of the region’s white wine appellations, and is often blended with the more widely known Chardonnay grape.

In neighbouring Switzerland (where it is most commonly referred to as Heida), the variety thrives on the steep south-facing slopes of some of Europe’s highest vineyards where it produces crisp, dry white wines that are notable for their refreshing quality. Very small quantities of this relatively obscure grape variety are also grown in parts of Australia.

Like Gewürztraminer - the more famous pink-berried grape of the same family, Traminer is considered a somewhat temperamental variety to cultivate, being very late to ripen and yielding low volumes. However, patience, perseverance and a careful process of production rewards growers and winemakers with a high quality grape that offers diverse application in both varietal and blended wines. Vinified separately, Traminer can produce aromatic, elegant wines that have the ability to age well.