Gewürztraminer (Roter Traminer)
Roter Traminer is one of the oldest grape varieties still cultivated. Some researchers trace the grape's origin to Greece. Traminer wine was being used for Holy Communion in monasteries there as early as the 15th century. It was documented in Germany in the 16th century, a time when it was a recommended variety. Traditionally, Roter Traminer, Riesling, and a prolific variety were planted side by side in vineyards to minimize crop loss. According to EU wine regulations pertaining to officially approved varietal names, Roter Traminer may also be designated by its synonym, Gewürztraminer, in Germany.
Although plantings have increased slightly during the past few years, with 860 hectacres, Roter Traminer accounts for less than 1% of Germany's total vineyard area. Although there are only some 30 hectacres in Sachsen, it is considered to be a traditional, regional specialty.