Gewurztraminer vs Riesling

If you’re a white wine lover, you may be wondering about the difference between Riesling and Gewürztraminer.

These are two of my favorite aromatic white wines. And they both thrive in cool-climate regions. But if you look closer, you’ll discover a lot of differences.

Riesling is known for its high acidity and lower alcohol levels. Gewürztraminer tends to have lower acidity but higher alcohol content.

Main Differences

RIESLING HISTORY Riesling is a pretty old grape variety, dating back to the 1400s. It’s actually the offspring of Gouais Blanc, the parent grape of other popular wines like Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc.


GEWÜRZTRAMINER HISTORY Compared to Riesling, Gewürztraminer (pronounced  “guh-vertz-trah-mee-ner”) is a much younger grape. Official records of Gewürztraminer winemaking date back to 1827 in Germany.

GROWING RIESLING Riesling thrives in a cooler climate. These vines are tough, surviving the harsh conditions of cold winters. Plus, they bud late, avoiding damage from spring frosts.

Differences in the Vineyard

GROWING GEWÜRZTRAMINER Like Riesling, Gewürztraminer grapes do better in cooler climates. But in this case, it’s because they’re early ripeners. That means sugar levels can get pretty high in warm regions.

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