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Grüner Veltliner

International Varieties: Chardonnay   Gewürztraminer   Muscat   Pinot Gris   Riesling   Sauvignon Blanc

Major Varieties:   Airén    Chenin Blanc    Grüner Veltliner    Müller-Thurgau    Pinot Blanc    Sémillon    Silvaner    Trebbiano    Viognier

Regional Varieties:   Albariño    Aligoté    Amigne    Arneis    Chasselas    Colombard    Cortese    Fiano    Grechetto    Grenache Blanc    Malvasia Istriana    Marsanne    Muscadelle    Muscat of Alexandria    Ortega    Palomino    Parellada    Petite Arvine    Prosecco    Rieslaner    Roussanne    Savagnin    Scheurebe    Seyval Blanc    Tocai Friulano    Torrontés    Vermentino    Welschriesling

Gruner Veltliner

Wachau Grüner Veltliner bottle and glass.
Photo by Mussklprozz on Wikipedia.
Licensed under Creative Commons SA 3.0.

A versatile grape across much of Europe, Grüner Veltliner makes a white wine of many different styles. Table wine is common due to the grape's relative simplicity, but fine examples are also plentiful.

Probably related to Savagnin, Grüner has been in Austria since Roman times. The grape's natural minerally flavor is common through all its wines, but flavors such as lentils, pepper, peach, and even tobacco are said to occur in some wines. The gravelly soil of Austria is perfect for bringing out the best flavors in the grape. In its best form, the grape produces wines that are often ageable for many decades.

The great Grüner agers are almost exclusively planted in the steep terraces of northeast Austria, especially the sharp slopes of Wachau. The most powerful, mineral-rich wines are made on these steep hills, but spicier, more approachable, though less acclaimed Gruners from all over the country are also good. All over the country, Grüner Veltliner is made into slick dessert wines, sparklers, and even the occasional red wine.

Other countries in Europe try to emulate the biting flavors of Wachau's Grüner Veltliner, with the occasional success. The grape variety is the second most planted of the Czech Republic. Simple and often low in alcohol, these wines can attain quite respectable quality.

Hungary was a large grower before being split off from Austria. Plantings in the geographical region have largely been cut back but there are still some. Increased attention to Grüner in the United States has resulted in an increase; cold regions such as New York have taken on the challenge of producing good examples.