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Pinot Noir vs Pinot Blanc and Traminer vs Gewurztraminer

Are Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc related? How about Traminer and Gewurztraminer?

Pinot Noir vs Pinot Blanc "Some wine names use the same terms like Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc, and Traminer and Gewurztraminer. Are they related?"
– SB, Long BEACH, CA

Excellent question! The answer is—"sort of." The word pinot is derived from the French word pin which translates to pine and refers to a pine cone. The shape of the grape clusters on Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris (a.k.a. Pinot Grigio), and Pinot Blanc resemble a pine cone. Chardonnay was once called Pinot Chardonnay for the same reason. These grapes all have a botanical connection, such that even though one may be red and the other white, they once were the same. Over centuries they developed into different varieties of grapes.

Traminer and Gewurztraminer share many characteristics. As a matter of fact, one is just a slightly different version of the other. At one time both vines were called Traminer. Vintners noticed that some plants had grapes of a slightly different color, and when these grapes were vinified separately, they produced a spicier version of the common Traminer. So, they named the new version "Gewurztraminer" because gewurzt means "spicy" in German.