The Best Gruner Veltliner Wines: How They Taste, How to Pronounce It + Food Pairings (Video)

Ah summer, we want to hang on to it as long as we can. What better way then with wines that are best enjoyed at this time of the year, especially Austrian Gruner Veltliner, as Natalie MacLean of discusses on CTV. 


You’ve picked a white wine for us today that some people may not be familiar with. Tell us about it.

I have a bouquet of Gruner Veltliners from Austria for your summer sipping pleasure! Grüner means “green” and I think that’s fitting because it offers a lot of lime zest and green apple refreshment in the summer.






Rabl Langenlois Grüner Veltliner
Kamptal D.A.C., Austria





In addition to these notes, it often has aromas of white pepper and peach. It’s also great when the temperature rises because it’s usually dry, with low alcohol and a refreshingly crisp finish. Think of it as a cross between Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio but with its own signature.








Domäne Wachau Terrassen Federspiel Grüner Veltliner
Wachau D.A.C., Austria





Tell us more about this wine’s roots in Austria.

It’s the flagship white wine grape of Austria, and the most-planted there, though smaller amounts are grown in other countries. Austrian wine accounts for less than 1% of the total wine production in the world — but when it comes to wine, small is good. It’s often artisanal rather than mass production.



That’s especially true for Austrian Gruner, as most of it is planted on the steeply terraced vineyards along the Danube River of the Wachau region west of Vienna. In fact, the vineyards are too steep to have machines harvest the grapes so they are all hand-picked often by the families themselves, not seasonal workers, since the production is so small.





Loimer Grüner Veltliner
Kamptal D.A.C., Austria





So how did Gruner first become popular?

About ten years ago, Gruner became the darling of upscale restaurant sommeliers because it’s so food-friendly, pairing with a wide variety of dishes from seafood to soft cheeses.




Its ability to pair with so many dishes isn’t simply its juicy, mouth-watering acidity, it’s also that the wine has more body and texture than many white wines, allowing it to stand up to the heartier flavours of grilled chicken and pizza. It even works with wine killers, like asparagus and artichoke.






Lenz Moser Prestige Grüner Veltliner
Niederösterreich, Austria







What’s changing lately for this wine?

With climate change, many winemakers observe that twenty years ago, about two out ten vintages were good. Now, with more warmth and a longer ripening season, eight out of ten are good to great.







Allram Strass Grüner Veltliner
Kamptal D.A.C., Austria





So tell us about the specific wines you have for us.

As Julie Andrews sang in The Sound of Music, these are a few of my favourite things, or rather wines, starting with the  Rabl Langenlois Gruner Veltliner. The Rabl winery was founded in 1750. Rudi Rabl, like many Austrian winemakers, doesn’t use fertilizers or pesticides in the vineyards.





Next I have the Domäne Wachau Terrassen Federspiel Grüner Veltliner. Federspiel is one of three classifications for Austrian wine-based alcohol levels, in this case between 11.5% – 12.5%. This category is named after a traditional lure used in falconry.

Those with less than 11.5% alcohol are called Steinfer and are very light and delicate. These are named after the native fragrant grass that grows around the vineyards. Those with more than 12.5% are called Smaragd named after the little green lizards that sit warming themselves on the drystone terrace walls of the vineyards.






Markus Huber Terrassen Grüner Veltliner
Traisental D.A.C., Austria





Then we have the Loimer Gruner Veltliner, with it’s bright modern label. You’ll notice that many of the wines have the iconic red and white cap that signals their origin and authenticity. Many people enjoy these wines young, though the wines can age up to thirty years or more.

I also have the Lenz Moser Prestige Gruner Veltliner with it’s lovely notes of orange peel, apricot, and grapefruit.

I have a few more that I want to highlight here, all from the 2018 vintage, including the Allram Strass Grüner Veltliner, the  Markus Huber Terrassen Grüner Veltliner and the Nigl Gartling Gruner Veltliner.







Weingut Nigl Gartling Gruner Veltliner
Niederösterreich, Austria







Posted with permission from CTV .



Leave a Reply