Indiana's wine industry on Tuesday uncorked the turkey friendly Traminette as the state's first signature wine, just in time for Thanksgiving.
A fragrant, floral white wine that pairs well with poultry, pork loin, seafood and Asian fare, Traminette comes from a Gewurztraminer hybrid grape that flourishes in Indiana.
More than 20 of Indiana's wineries bottled the varietal last year and five won medals for it at the Indy International Wine Competition in June, one of the largest wine competitions in the world.
Bill Oliver, owner and vintner at Bloomington's Oliver Winery, whose Traminette was selected the best of the varietal from Indiana at the competition, described the grape as robust, adaptable and forgiving.
"What I find to be the greatest thing about Traminette is in a good year, it makes a great wine, (and) in a bad year, it makes a great wine," Oliver said.
"It's made in a broad range of styles," he said. "We make ours off-dry."
Purdue University horticulture professor Bruce Bordelon said Traminette's 30 acres make it the third most widely planted grape in the state, and the acreage could double over the next few years. Indiana wineries produced about 20,000 cases of Traminette last year.
U.S. agriculture officials released the hybrid only 13 years ago after decades of testing, Bordelon said.
Jeannette Merritt, a marketing specialist with the Indiana Wine Grape Council, said Traminette is one of only a few state signature wines, joining the likes of Oregon's pinot noir and New York's reisling.
A marketing campaign dubbed "Try on Traminette" will promote the wine.
Merritt said Indiana's wine industry has grown from about 12 wineries in 1989, when the council was created, to 43 today, with seven more scheduled to open in 2010.
On the Net: http://www.tryontraminette.org