Situated between Lake Maggiore and Lake Como, Lake Lugano is partly in Italy and partly in Switzerland. Laetitia took her group to Porlezza, the city at the lake’s head and began the day with an excursion in the Italian part of Lake Lugano. Afterwards, the group stopped at a local winery for a tour and lunch. The white wine served with lunch was a gewürztraminer. Laetitia knew that gewürz is the German word for spice but this was not a spiced wine and she did not expect to find a German wine served in an Italian winery. Their host explained that gewürztraminer is, in fact, an Italian wine that originated in a Tyrolean village called Tramin an der Weinstrasse (Tramin on the Wine Road), just south of the Austrian border. There are strong Germanic influences in northern Italy stemming from its proximity to Germany and Austria and because it was once part of the Hapsburg empire. Gewürz describes the spicy nose of this otherwise dry wine. Laetitia decided she would go to Tramin before she moved on to Austria and dedicated the day’s limerick to gewürztraminer.
The Italian white wine fresh and clean
That first came from the town of Tramin
Known as gewürztraminer
For its spicy demeanor
Is not quite as Deutsch as t‘is seen.