The Grüner Veltliner remains a mystery to many wine lovers, but these Austrian wines one of the country’s most famous grape varieties. Discovered more than 2000 years ago, this grape pervades the Austrian countryside. The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and northern Italy have been growing Grüner for ages but it’s only recently that producers in other countries, such as Australia, have started bottling their own versions. Be honest, at first glimpse the ü in Grüner that scares you off thinking it’s a tongue twister.
But actually, the name is quite simple to pronounce: it's Grew-ner Velt-leen-er. If Pinot Grigio and Cabernet Sauvignon fly off the tongue, then Grüner Veltliner does too. Gruner, in fact, simply means “green,” referring to the green variety of the veltliner family of grapes. The Grüner Veltliner is a dry, light to medium white that’s often peppery or spicy, and always lively, with big flavour but not too fruity. Colour-wise, it can often be translucent or pale, with a green tinge when young or light yellow to a deep golden colour for aged examples.
Here in Australia, several regions shine in making Grüner Veltliner, including Tasmania, Clare Valley, Eden Valley, Hilltops, Canberra, Langhorne Creek, McLaren Vale and the Adelaide Hills. The Adelaide Hills is where the majority of Grüner Veltliner is grown, which is no surprise given the climate and terroir of this region.
Tempus Two Grüner Veltliner has enticing aromas of white stone fruits, lemon and spice. The palate is a harmonious blend of pineapple and grapefruit complemented by a persistent crisp finish. This dry white wine is incredibly food-friendly and pairs perfectly with just about anything. It lets the food do the talking. Think zucchini linguine with herbs to sushi and sashimi, fresh cheeses, Vietnamese and Thai. But why stop there? Austrians drink Grüner Veltliner with pork schnitzels and Vienna sausage so why shouldn’t we…