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Gruner Veltliner in Australia

From Austria to Australia Gruner Veltliner is hitting a groove in Australia

Hahndorf hill wineryHahndorf Hills Winery in Adelaide - the epicentre of Australian Gruner Veltliner

Gruner Veltliner is the most common white wine grape variety in Austria, where it makes up about 30% of the national vineyard area. It is also grown in neighbouring countries of Central Europe and in Italy. 

Many of the wines made from this variety in Austria are quite undistinguished fresh and crisp wines made fro consumption when young.  It is also is used for base wines to make the local sparkling wine Sekt.

However at the top end this variety can make some rich well structured wines, and it is these that are driving its popularity.

Gruner Veltliner in Australia

Until a few years ago this variety was very rare in Australia.  Lark Hill in the Canberra District were the first to produce wine from the variety in Australia in 2009.  Hahndorf Hill in the Adelaide Hills Region (2010) and Stoney Rise (2011) were quick to follow.

But the real impetus has come from Hahndorf Hill Winery in the Adelaide Hills.  They imported some new clones for Australia and have been the trail blazers of the variety.  They have made propagating material available to other vineyards and wineries throughout their region.  

Hahndorf Hill also a established a Gruner Veltliner project known as the Gruner Growers Group (GGG) to push the agenda of making the Adlaide Hills the premier Gruner region in Australia.

There are two measures of the success of these efforts.  

Since 2013 Gruner Veltliner now has its own class at the Australian Alternative Varieites Wine Show.  the Variety is no longer judged in the grab bag "other white varieties" class.

The second measure of success is the number of Australian wineries now producing Gruner Veltliner. A quick scan of this list shows just how the Adelaide Hills is dominating the scene.

It will be interesting to see if any other cool wine regions take up this variety.

The list below is of wineries using the variety.  In some cases the wineries are located in neighbouring regions outside the Adelaide Hills but in most cases the grapes are sourced from the Hills.

Australian Gruner veltlinerA tasting of Australian Gruner veltliner wines
  • Allan and Vietch Adelaide Hills
  • Artwine Adelaide Hills
  • Bird in Hand Adelaide Hills
  • By Jingo Adelaide Hills
  • Cape Barren Wines McLaren Vale
  • Catlin Wines Adelaide Hills
  • Cloudbreak Wines Adelaide Hills
  • CRFT Adelaide Hills
  • Deviation Road Adelaide Hills
  • Eden Hall Eden Valley
  • Guthrie Wines Adelaide Hills
  • Hahndorf Hill Adelaide Hills
  • Henschke Eden Valley
  • K1 by Geoff Hardy Adelaide Hills
  • Landhaus Estate Adelaide Hills
  • Lark Hill Winery Canberra
  • Longview Vineyard Adelaide Hills
  • Loom Mclaren Vale
  • Main and Cherry Adelaide Hills
  • Mt Bera Adelaide Hills
  • Nepenthe Adelaide Hills
  • Nova Vita Wines Adelaide Hills
  • Pike and Joyce Adelaide Hills
  • Sinapius Northern Tasmania
  • Smidge Wines Langhorne Creek
  • Stefano Lubiano Southern Tasmania
  • Stoney Rise Northern Tasmania
  • The Pawn Wine Company Adelaide Hills
  • Tomich Hill Adelaide Hills

Gruner veltliner and food

This variety is quite versatile in the number of different styles of wine it can make, from lean and crisp through to full and rich.  They can be drunk young and fresh or like Rieslings they can be aged.

The underlying structure of the wine makes for successful pairing with a number of food styles.

Try Gruner Veltliner with

  • All manner of Asian cuisine  from Chinese sweet and sour pork, to Vietnamese spring rolls to a delicate Japanese tempura.
  • With salads including those with the otherwise difficult to pair villains asparagus and artichokes.
  • With salty charcuterie - Bratwust, Wiesswurt, sausages and smoked or cured meats of all kinds.
  • Mild to medium curries or dishes flavoured with North African spices.
  • Bean or lentil based stews.

For more suggestions see Evan Goldstein's Daring Pairings book

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