Grüner Veltliner is a crossing of Traminer and St. Georgen and is Austria’s foremost indigenous grape variety. It does not belong to the Veltliner grape family, however. In Austria’s Weinviertel winegrowing region, Grüner Veltliner was the first grape variety to achieve DAC status (classification for typical regional quality wines).
The Grüner Veltliner white grape is Austria’s foremost indigenous grape variety. Most grapes are grown in Lower Austria and the northern part of Burgenland. It is known under a number of other synonyms – it is also called Weissgipfler in Austria. As a variety designation, only this alternative name is permitted. Grüner Veltliner is also grown in many eastern European countries and there are small plantings in countries such as Argentina, Australia and New Zealand.
From bone-dry to naturally sweet: Grüner Veltliner wines
Grüner Veltliner is a mid- to late-ripening variety and produces high yields, but it is also prone to mildew. The variety is not particularly fussy about soil type. Grüner Veltliner can produce wines at all quality levels, from light, crisply acidic expressions through to very mature premium bottlings. These white wines are charming, spritzy and have a hint of spice, a crisp acidity or stone fruit notes. Aromas of white pepper are also often discernible.
Grüner Veltliner grapes are traditionally vinified into bone dry wines, but they are also occasionally used to produce sweet Prädikatswein and sparkling wines. Top-quality Grüner Veltliners – known as Smaragd wines – are capable of ageing longer than Rieslings.