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New Traminette campaign showcases Indiana’s thriving wine industry

Eight years ago, the Purdue Wine Grape Team asked Indiana residents and tourists to “Try On Traminette,” the state’s first signature wine. On April 1, the team will launch a new marketing campaign for Traminette encouraging consumers to make this versatile white wine their go-to choice for everyday and special occasions.

“Choosing a signature variety in a state of varying temperatures and growing conditions was challenging,” said Bruce Bordelon, professor of horticulture, grape and small fruits Extension specialist and member of the Purdue Wine Grape Team. “Traminette was selected due to its outstanding quality and versatility, although it can be harder to grow than other wine grape varieties.”

“Grape growing is never without its perils,” Bordelon said. “What matters is wine quality. If the wine is poor quality, it doesn’t matter if the grapes are easy to grow or not. With Traminette, the potential for wine quality is so good that for many Indiana vineyards the potential for an excellent wine makes the challenges of growing it worth the trouble.”  

Since the first campaign, the state’s signature wine has become a staple variety for Indiana’s 116 wineries and tasting rooms, which to date have generated $94 million in Indiana tourism spending. Well-suited to a hot summer day or to being paired with rich foods, Traminette ranges from lightly sweet to dry with the floral aroma and spicy flavor characteristic of its Gewurztraminer parent.

“It’s encouraging to feel that connection to Traminette as the state wine,” said Eric Harris of Two EE’s Winery in Huntington, which captured the title of Indiana Traminette of the Year at the 2018 INDY International Wine Competition. “It’s something that everyone is producing, but we are still setting expectations for how an Indiana Traminette should taste. At Two EE’s, we believe that balance is key — lightly sweet, with just a bit of residual sugar.”

The Purdue Wine Grape Team’s 2019 Traminette campaign will include radio and television advertisements across Indiana, Chicagoland, and in Louisville.  These will be accompanied by print media, winery tours, and educational materials on winemaking and tasting — all aimed at generating long-term economic impact for the state’s wine industry and signature grape. This time, instead of just “trying” Traminette, however, the Purdue Wine Grape Team hopes consumers will experience the wine coming to life firsthand at an Indiana winery or tasting room.

“I think our tasting room succeeds because our approach is accessible” said Harris, whose Two EE’s Winery was voted “America’s Best Tasting Room” in a 2017 USA Today poll. “We pride ourselves on being knowledgeable, but we don’t believe visitors need to know everything to have a great time.” 

A Traminette grape cluster. (Courtesy photo) A Traminette grape cluster. (Courtesy photo)

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