Würzer is a scarcely planted white variety developed in Alzey, Germany, in 1932 by crossing Gewürztraminer with Müller-Thurgau. The variety produces highly aromatic and flavourful wines and is found mostly in Rheinhessen, but also in southern England and New Zealand. Its name, Würzer, is derived from the German word würze, meaning “spice”.
Würzer gained popularity in Germany in the 1980s, with plantings increasing significantly during this decade. But the variety then experienced a steady decline and, today, fewer than 70 acres (30ha) remain in its homeland. A handful of cool-climate producers in the English counties of Essex, Sussex and Berkshire have planted the variety, as has one producer (Seifried) in Nelson, New Zealand.
Würzer, like its parent Gewürztraminer, produces wines that are very aromatic in nature, with citrus and white floral notes, such as freesia, elderflower and lime, often present. “Grapey” aromas are also common, which often leads to Würzer being compared to Muscat. Wine flavours may range from herbaceous and floral to citrus and apple notes or even tropical and stone fruits. As the variety’s name would suggest, a sprinkling of spice is often also evident.