As you read this I should be busy tasting some sensational wines made from the Austrian native white variety, Grüner Veltliner. As well as some of their other cracker wines, including, in the reds – Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch and St Laurent. But the focus here is on the delicious, delectable and divine, Grüner Veltliner. This is a super-star variety which provides masses of flavour and heaps of drinking pleasure as a young wine. Also, it ages sensationally as shown by the early to mid-1980s Grüner I tasted on my 2015 visit to Vienna.
After a long hiatus, Austrian wines have erupted onto the global wine scene over the last decade, to the extent that their native white “super-hero”, Grüner Veltliner, is probably the hottest white variety on the planet. Winemakers all over the world (in suitably cool climates) are having a crack at it.
The best example of this is in the Adelaide Hills, where in 2010, HAHNDORF HILL made the first Grüner from the area. Eight years later, there are now 34 Grüner growers in the region! This rapid growth is the vinous equivalent of a “raging grass fire”. As a result, the Adelaide Hills has been labelled, “The Grüner Capital of the Southern Hemisphere”. www.hahndorfhillwinery.com.au
Outside of its native Austria, Grüner is also grown in Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, France, USA, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and of course here in Oz. Apart from the Adelaide Hills, Grüner is also grown in Canberra (LARK HILL was the first Aussie Grüner producer with its 2009 vintage that won awards in Austria), Tasmania and the Granite Belt. www.larkhill.wine
Grüner’s popularity is skyrocketing so fast that later this year, in this, its 40th year, Winestate Magazine, in conjunction with AWBM will be conducting the first ever, “Global Grüner Challenge” (GGC) in Adelaide, with the judging panel to include a revered Austrian wine expert. The 2019 GGC will be held in Vienna and then alternate between the two cities annually.
So, why don’t you have a crack at a Grüner and see for yourself what all the fuss is about?Try an Aussie one or else go to “Uncle Dan’s” and pick up a bottle of Austrian Grüner and check this rising star out before everybody else does. Prost!!