Grüner Veltliner

A picture shows grapes of the grape variety Grüner Veltliner
© AWMB / Oberleitner

Origin: Austria, Niederösterreich, Burgenland

Parentage: Natural offspring of Traminer and St. Georgen. The second parent variety was found in St. Georgen in Austria's Burgenland. This grape variety was named after its discovery location because, following genetic research, it could not be attributed to any known variety. The Grüner Veltliner is not related to the Roter Veltliner and Frühroter Veltliner.

Vineyard area: 13,518 ha, 29.4%

Grüner Veltliner is the most important autochthonous grape variety in Austria. It was most widespread in the 1950s because of the introduction then of Lenz Moser´s Hochkultur (High Culture) training system. Today, the variety is widely planted especially in Niederösterreich and northern Burgenland. As an origin-typical DAC wine, this variety holds special rank in several wine-growing regions. While its cultivation decreased by 22% between 1999 and 2009, it still maintains the dominant position in Austria's total vineyard surface area.

Important ampelographic features
Leaf: medium-sized, pentagonal to circular, with five to seven lobes, and a moderately hairy underside. The typical white woolly hair on the shoot tip gives the variety its synonym - Weißgipfler.
Grape cluster: medium to very large; medium density; conical; shouldered, with large round to oval berries; greenish-yellow, to foxy-yellow on the sun-exposed side.

Ripening time: mid-season

Importance, Conditions: The most important grape variety in Austria. Grüner Veltliner achieved worldwide awareness and popularity at the end of the last century. It is a fertile variety and therefore requires yield regulation. It grows especially well in deep loess soils, does not like dryness, is sensitive during flowering, and is susceptible to peronospora, Roter Brenner (Pseudopezicula tracheiphila) and chlorosis.

Wine: Grüner Veltliner delivers all quality levels - from light, acidity-toned wines to the highly ripe Prädikat wines. The site and the yield are crucial to the quality. Spicy, peppery versions are preferred; so are versions yielding stone fruit notes.