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Grüner Veltliner

Groon-uh Velt-LEE-ner

Grüner Veltliner is an Austrian white wine grape. It is likely indigenous to Austria, where it is the country’s most planted grape variety. Recent DNA analysis revealed that the parentage of Grüner Veltliner is Savagnin (one of the parents of Sauvignon Blanc) and St. Georgener-Rebe, an obscure Austrian grapevine from the village of Sankt Georgen am Leithagebirge in eastern Austria. Before 1855, the wine was called Weißgipfler, with the Grüner Veltliner name becoming standard by 1930.

For much of its history, Grüner Veltliner was seen as just another Austrian grape. Few wine enthusiasts in the 19th and early 20th centuries gave this wine any credit compared to famous French wines such as Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. However, after World War II, a winemaker named Lenz Moser implemented a Hochkultur (vine training) system to bring out the best in the grape. This catapulted Grüner Veltliner’s popularity in Austria from the 1950s till now.

Outside of its homeland, Grüner Veltliner has also become Slovakia’s most-planted grape and the Czech Republic’s second most grown grape. In the New World, Grüner Veltliner has caused intrigue in the cooler wine regions of the United States such as Massachusetts and New York. The international popularity of the wine grew significantly after a 2002 wine tasting competition in which Austrian Grüner Veltliner beat out French grand cru wines.

Fast Facts

Parents & Origin: Savagnin + St. Georgener-Rebe (Austria)

Grape: small, spherical, green skin

Flavors: lime, lemon, grapefruit, nectarine

Notable Regions: Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic

Sweetness: dry

Body: light

Tannins: none

Acidity: high

ABV: 11-13%

How to Serve Grüner

Grüner Serving Temperature

46ºF (7ºC) 

Wine Glass for Grüner

Universal

How Long to Decant Grüner

30 minutes

How Long to Age Grüner

20-30 years potential 

Flavor Profile

Notable Flavors: Lime, Lemon, Grapefruit, Nectarine

Grüner Veltliner offers primary flavors of lemon, lime, grapefruit and nectarine, followed by secondary notes of white pepper, iris, green bean, radish, lovage, tarragon, ginger, and honey. It is best served chilled to around 46 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition to these citrusy flavors, Grüner Veltliner offers a light body and a particularly intense acidity that is often noted for a tingly mouthfeel. Grüner Veltliner is made in two distinct styles, one that is best served young and one that provides exceptional aging ability.

For delicious Grüner Veltliner from, shop Martha Stewart White Wine.

Grüner Veltliner's Two Styles

austrian gruner veltliner vineyard

Grüner Veltliner is made in two distinct styles depending on region and desired taste. The more classic style of Grüner is more common on American shelves: it is best consumed within two years of bottling and offers delightful citrus flavors that pair well with food. However, it does not offer much aging potential and the characteristic acidity is lessened. The second style is made from the highest quality grapes and is much more complex in nature, with a faint creaminess and notes of honey. These wines are usually aged in oak and in bottle for around 3-6 years before release and come with a heftier price tag. If you’re looking for a more complex style, search for bottles from the Wachau region, bottles labeled “Reserve,” or wines with more than 12.5 percent alcohol. Other bottles of Grüner Veltliner are likely to be the classic style.

Austria

There are about 50,000 acres of Grüner Veltliner worldwide. Over 75 percent of Grüner Veltliner wines come from Austria. This variation that is typically imported to the US is light and zesty. This is best enjoyed on a summer day.

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Food Pairings for Grüner Veltliner

Due to its fruit flavors and pleasingly high acidity, Grüner Veltliner is known as a particularly food-friendly wine and frequently appears on restaurant wine lists. Also, try pairing with spice!

Meat Pairings

Veal

Turkey

Kidney

Chicken

Pork chops

Mussels

Clams

Sardines

Trout

Halibut

Cheese Pairings

Soft cheeses

Camembert

Ricotta

Paneer

Herbs & Spices

Ginger

White pepper

Chives

Shallots

Lime

Lemon

Tarragon

Dill

Cumin

Curry leaves

Turmeric

Capers

cardamom

Vegetables 

Asparagus

Artichoke (this is hard to pair!)

Potatoes

Green beans

Coconut

Bell pepper

Cauliflower

Jicama

Cabbage

Kale

Spinach

radish

Recommended Dishes

  1. Vietnamese summer rolls 
  2. Fish and chips
  3. Japanese noodles
  4. Asparagus and pork 

Avoid These Dishes

Like any white wine, avoid heavy red meats.

Grüner Recap

Grüner Veltliner has become one of Austria’s most beloved white wines, and its impact is known from the number of wine lists on which you’ll find it! The unique grape offers fruit-forward flavors of lemon, lime, grapefruit and nectarine, with a light body and high, crisp acidity. The two unique styles of Grüner Veltliner also allow a varied experience! Pair a bottle of Grüner Veltliner with any dish that has a lot of flavor and spice.

Don’t forget to shop Martha Stewart White Wine for some of the best Grüner Veltliner!

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