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Austria's most significant white wine variety is Grüner Veltliner, which most probably derives from a crossing with Traminer. The second parent remains unconfirmed, but it is thought to be a Century old variety discovered in St. Georgen in Burgenland.

probably Niederösterreich, Austria

Natural offspring of Traminer x St. Georgen

14,409.81 ha; 32.4%

White wine grape variety


Parentage

The second parent variety was found in St. Georgen in Austria’s Burgenland. This grape variety was named after the place in which it was discovered because, genetic research was unable to attribute it to any known variety. Grüner Veltliner is not genetically related to Roter Veltliner or Frühroter Veltliner.

Vineyard area

Grüner Veltliner is the most important autochthonous grape variety in Austria. It became most widespread during the 1950s when Lenz Moser’s high vine training system was introduced. Today, this variety is most heavily planted in Niederösterreich and northern Burgenland. Grüner Veltliner holds a special rank in several wine-growing regions as it is used to produce DAC wines that display the typical characteristics of their origins. While this variety’s area under vine decreased between 1999 and 2020, it still remains the most planted variety within Austria.

A picture shows grapes of the grape variety Grüner Veltliner.

Important ampelographic features

© Austrian Wine / Oberleithner

Important ampelographic features

Leaf

medium-sized, pentagonal to circular, five to seven lobes, deeply lobed and a moderately hairy underside. The characteristic white woolly hair on the shoot tip gives the variety its second name, Weißgipfler (white tip).

Grape cluster

medium to very large, medium density, cone-shaped, shouldered, with large round-to-oval berries, greenish-yellow to foxy-yellow in colour on the sun-exposed side.

Ripening

Ripening

very early
early
early to middle
middle
middle to late
late
very late

Significance & Conditions

Grüner Veltliner is by far the most important white wine grape variety in Austria. It achieved international recognition and popularity at the end of the 20th century. It is a prolific variety and therefore requires yield regulation. It grows especially well in loess soils offering a deep root depth, does not like dryness, is sensitive during flowering and is susceptible to Peronospora, Pseudopezicula tracheiphila and chlorosis.

Area under vine in Austria
(as a proportion of the variety’s total area)

Click on the wine origin in the list for a breakdown into more specific regions of origin.

Total area in Austria:

The Leithaberg and Neusiedlersee wine-growing regions overlap by almost 160 ha (Rieds Hausberg and Neuberg), according to the Austrian Wine Law. This means that the listed area under vine in Burgenland is 160 ha less than the actual total area across all wine-growing regions in Burgenland.

A picture shows a hand holding a glass of white wine.

Characteristics of the wine

© Austrian Wine / Blickwerk Fotografie

Characteristics of the wine

Grüner Veltliner delivers all quality levels – from light, more acidic wines, through to Prädikatswein with a high degree of ripeness. Quality is highly dependent upon the vineyard and the yield. Winegrowers strive for spicy, peppery wines, or wines with notes of stone fruit.

Link

Autochthonous Varieties

Source varietal specifications: Höhere Bundeslehranstalt und Bundesamt für Wein- und Obstbau (Federal College and Federal Office for Viticulture, Oenology and Fruit Growing) in Klosterneuburg, “Austria’s Qualitätswein grape varieties and their clones“ („Österreichische Qualitätsweinrebsorten und deren Klone“), 2nd, reviewed edition, September 2015

Source area under vine: Calculation by Austrian Wine based on data from BML/IACS (as at 28 June 2023). Moving annual total (MAT) from June 2022 to June 2023.

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