Do You Know Austria’s Grape?

By / Wine + Drinks / June 18th, 2014 / 2

When you finally get around to reading this I will be on my way back from a week in Austria …

I hear you asking, “Why would any self-respecting wine writer go to Austria?” And if you are asking that then I suspect you have never tasted, or even heard of, Gruner Veltliner – the national grape of Austria, in the same way that Riesling is the national grape of Germany and Sauvignon Blanc the national grape of New Zealand.

One of the signatures of the Gruner grape is a note of pea pod on the nose and its fresh vibrant acidity.

I will be attending Vie Vinum, Austria’s international wine festival where over “500 wine-growers form all over the world present their top wines”.   I’ll also be travelling the countryside tasting more wines from the host country and will have plenty more to report in the coming weeks.

For now, here are a few of my favourite Austrian wines I’ve tried on this side of the Atlantic:

Rabl 2011 Kittmanberg Gruner Veltliner ($14.95)

Pea pod and sweet citrus with a touch of something stony / minerally and there’s even a little melon rind on the finish.

Brundlmayer 2012 Kamptaler Terrassen Gruner Veltliner ($21.95)

The typical pea pod shows up along with some grapefruit as the citrus component all with racy acidity; for the uninitiated it can easy be confused with Sauvignon Blanc.

Larenz V 2012 Friendly Gruner Veltliner ($19.95)

A well named Gruner, this one plays and dances over the tongue with glee along with pea pod, lemon zest and great acidity.

For more wine suggestions, see our other #WineWednesday posts.

Michael is an award-winning journalist: Promoting the Promoters Award Cuvée 2010 and Ontario Wine Awards Journalist of the Year 2012.  He is also a national and international wine judge - Ontario Wine Awards, All Canadian Wine Championships; Best of Riesling — Germany; Essencia do Vinho — "Top Wines of Portugal".  He is currently the President of the Wine Writers Circle of Canada and the wine columnist for Ottawa Life and Grand magazine as well as regular contributor to Tidings, and Grapevine ... his reviews have also appeared in the LCBO Vintages magazine. Michael has also added a YouTube channel to his activities where he reviews bottles of great Ontario wine on a weekly basis. In whatever he does, it is Michael’s desire to educate, inspire and encourage others to grow their own love and enthusiasm for wine – and to realize that it is their palate that ultimately makes the decision.

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