‘Traminette’ – a mid-season white-wine grape released by Cornell’s grape breeding program in 1996 – was named the Outstanding Fruit Cultivar for 2015 by the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) at its annual meeting in New Orleans August 7.
‘Traminette’ produces wine with pronounced varietal character likened to one of its parents, the vinifera cultivar ‘Gewürztraminer’, says Bruce Reisch, professor in the Horticulture Section of Cornell’s School of Integrative Plant Science, one of the breeders who developed the cultivar.
In addition to producing superior wines, ‘Traminette’ yields well, has partial resistance to several fungal diseases, and is more cold-hardy than ‘Gewürztraminer’, Reisch adds. It is the fifth wine grape cultivar released by the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station (NYSAES).
“Support from the wine industry was essential to the development of ‘Traminette’,” says Reisch. John Brahm of Arbor Hill Grapery and Herman Amberg of Grafted Grapevine Nursery planted large numbers of vines and produced experimental wines prior to the cultivar’s official release. “Arbor Hill was the first to market a varietal ‘Traminette’ wine the year it was released, and it’s been a successful product since,” Reisch notes.
Wineries across the country have produced award-winning ‘Traminette’ wines, and the acreage continues to grow. ‘Traminette’ is grown on more than 100 acres in New York, as well as in Ohio and Virginia. Indiana grows about 75 acres and it’s the signature white wine variety of the state. Easley Winery’s 2014 Traminette was named the Wine of the Year at the 2015 Indy Wine Competition.
‘Traminette’ is the fourth NYSAES-bred fruit cultivar honored by ASHS since the Outstanding Fruit Cultivar award’s inception in 1987. Others include ‘Empire’ apple (1987), ‘Jonagold’apple (1988), and ‘Heritage’ red raspberry (2004).