Grüner Veltliner The Wine Grape of Austria Comes to America
on 27/10/11 at 10:44 amWine
Gourmets in the USA call it “Grooner” and it is sipped in the chic, top restaurants from New York to San Francisco. Grüner Veltliner is now finding its way into American vineyards as well.
“Unique. Versatile. A culinary genius. The last of the great European grape varieties!” Ten years after its successful breakthrough in the USA, Grüner Veltliner remains the darling of the wine scene. The popularity of Austria’s leading wine variety in the land of boundless possibilities continues.
The export of Grüner Veltliner in the USA began at an ideal time. The market was saturated with faceless wines at the end of the 1990s. One spoke of the ABC syndrome – Anything But Chardonnay. And one also cried, “Anything but oak!” At this time Austrian vintners were in the process of discovering the potential of the variety to express a unique terroir. The glycol scandal of the 80s had catalysed giant leap in wine quality. Low yields and improved vinification methods brought a broad spectrum of Grüner Veltliner styles in a quality that had never before been experienced. It was only a question of time until thirsty American head hunters discovered the talented natural beauty.
Permanent Place in the Hall of Fame
Terry Theise of Michael Skurnik Wines said, “Grüner Veltliner is not just chic at the moment, it deserves a permanent place in the Hall of Fame of important grape varieties and a leading role among the wines to pair with food.” Its place of honour became guaranteed through praise from wine critics like Robert Parker and Stephen Tanzer as well as diverse wine magazines like Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast.
The USA is one of the few growing wine markets in the world. Continued per capita consumption growth is predicted that would put the USA ahead of France, Italy and Spain. New vineyards are being planted in nearly every State. Because nearly no historic, cultural, or legal restrictions exist, the choice of grape variety is colourfully diverse. The number of Grüner Veltliner vines thriving in American soil is growing.