Grüner Veltliner Grape Variety & Wine Profile

(Pronounced “grooh-ner VELT-leehn-er”)

Grüner Veltliner is Austria’s grape gang leader whose turf continues to expand, causing some serious upsets. AKA Grüner, GruVe (kind of like “groovy”), or GV, depending on who’s asking, has no problem with getting in your face and letting you know who you’re fooling with. Kidding aside, Grüner Veltliner is named for its color and hometown. The word Grüner means green in English, and Veltliner is its village of origin. Genetic analysis shows that it’s the offspring of Savagnin and an obscure Austrian grapevine named St. Georgener-Rebe that produces no grapes.

Today Grüner Veltliner is prized as Austria’s “Very Own” and most widely planted grape. While it dates back to the mid-1800s, its resident adoration didn’t start until the mid-1900s when it became the favorite wine served in wine-gardens, known as Heurigen’s and Buschenschank’s. Here vineyard keepers serve fresh glasses of the current vintage in a warm and cozy atmosphere. For #Winetravelers, then and now, Heurigen’s and Buschenschank’s are places to socialize, relax, and, most importantly, sample authentic Austrian wine and food.

Later in the early 2000s, Grüner Veltliner went from being a local wine bottled in liter format with a crown cap to gaining international attention as a contender rivaling Chardonnay. How? Because of Grüner Veltliner’s supernatural ability to match with virtually any food, including the bitterly uncooperative artichoke and asparagus. Grüner’s friendly disposition landed it in a prestigious blind-tasting conducted by world-renowned wine experts. Pitted against Chardonnay, “GruVe” swept 7 out of 10 categories proving its ability to produce fine, full-bodied wines capable of aging.

Terroir and Grüner Veltliner Growing Regions

To express its full potential, GV needs to be planted on mineral-rich slopes composed of silt, sand, clay, and rock with sunny exposure and cool evening breezes. While Austria’s finest expressions come from vineyards above the Danube River, in Wachau, Kremstal, and Kamptal regions, it’s also cultivated in neighboring Trentino-Alto Adige Valle Isarco, Italy, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. But since quality Grüner Veltliner has begun to make a global impact, vines have been planted in Portugal, Adelaide Hills, Australia, Central Otago, New Zealand, Clarksburg, San Benito, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Willamette Valley, Edna Valley, Umpqua Valley, Columbia Gorge and Washington.

Grüner Veltliner Tasting Notes

Grüner Veltliner is typically vinified as a single variety, and it is made into an incredible spectrum of styles and structures, from long-aging, richly dense, fruited wines to high-toned, electric, racy, sparkling, sweet and eiswein. Its color is pale straw with hints of green and can have a slight effervescence in youth, giving rise to vivid aromatics of grapefruit, lime, lemon, white flowers, gunpowder, dill, and wasabi. In terms of taste, expect searing acidity followed by yellow apple, tropical fruit, radish, arugula, watercress, tarragon, sage, ginger, honey, and saffron.

Food Pairing Grüner Veltliner Wines

As mentioned, GV has the capacity to complement practically any food. Still, there are some extraordinary standouts, starting with Austrian wiener schnitzel, American fried chicken, vegan fare, sushi, curries, spicy Thai and Vietnamese, summer rolls, noodle salad, dim sum, barbeque ribs, fresh cheeses, zucchini and the notorious wine killers like salads with vinaigrette dressing, cabbage, sprouts, kale, pickles and the already mentioned asparagus and artichoke. 

Countries Producing Grüner Veltliner

Austria 

Italy

Czech Republic

Slovakia

Hungary

Portugal

New Zealand

Australia

USA

Major Grüner Veltliner Producers by Country

Austria

Hirtzberger, Smaragd, Wachau

Emmerich Knoll Loibner Schutt, Wachau

F.X. Pichler Loibner Klostersatz, Wachau

Prager Smaragd, Wachau

Nikolaihof, Wachau

Salomon Undhof, Kremstal

Nigl, Kremstal

Willi Brundlmayer, Kamptal

Schloss Gobelsburg, Kamptal

Ewald Gruber-Roschitz, Niederosterreich

Italy

Tenuta Spitalerhof, Trentino-Alto Adige

Kellerei Cantina Valle Isarco, Sudtirol Eisacktaler Trentino-Alto Adige

Manni Nossing Sudtirol Eisacktaler, Trentino-Alto Adige

Abbazia di Novacella-Kloster, Sudtirol Eisacktaler, Trentino-Alto Adige

Czech Republic

Vino Z, Moravia

Edelspitz, Moravia

Arte Vini, Moravia

Slovakia

Naboso Dumas Welsch, Bratislava

Hungary

Count Karolyi

Floriana

Tuzko Birtok, Szekszard

Portugal

Broadbent

New Zealand

Jules Taylor, Marlborough

Coopers Creek, Gisborne 

Yealands Estate, Awatere Valley

Mount Edward Morrison, Central Otago

Australia

Nepenthe Winemaker’s Selection, Adelaide Hills

Hahndorf Hill Winery, Adelaide Hills

Stoney Rise, Tamar Valley

Lark Hill, Canberra District

USA

Dr. Konstantin Frank, Finger Lakes 

Zugibe, Finger Lakes 

Black Star Farms, Old Mission Peninsula

Savage Grace, Columbia Gorge 

Scenic Valley Farms, Willamette Valley

Illahe Estate Willamette Valley

Belden Barns Estate, Sonoma Mountain

Dancing Coyote, Clarksburg 

Vocal Vineyards, Santa Cruz Mountains

Williams Selyem, San Benito

Baker & Brain Paragon, Edna Valley

Lincourt, Sta Rita Hills

Tatomer, Santa Barbara County

Learn About These Other Wine Grape Varieties

Cabernet Sauvignon
Chardonnay
Chenin Blanc
Cinsault
Grenache
Malbec
Marsanne
Nebbiolo
Petit Verdot
Pinot Grigio
Pinot Meunier
Riesling
Tannat
Teroldego

Written By Jeff Bareilles

Jeff or “JB” is a native to the San Francisco Bay area and wants to live in a world where wine is served with every meal. As a beverage and food professional with more than 20 years of experience, he’s contributed to The Food Lover’s Guide to Wine; The Pho Cookbook (James Beard Award Best Signal Subject 2018); Unforgettable: The Bold Flavors of Paula Wolfert’s Renegade Life (James Beard Award Lifetime Achievement Award 2018); Manresa: An Edible Reflection; Happiness is on the Plate: Episode #1; Wine Spectator; Wine Enthusiast; The Wall Street Journal; San Francisco Chronicle; and GQ Magazine. When he’s not “tasting” and eating he’s writing about food and beverage or developing recipes in his laboratory (AKA: kitchen).


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The Structure and Style of Grüner Veltliner Wines

Body Medium Minus

Sugar Dry

Acid Medium Plus

Alcohol Medium Minus

Tannins Light

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