Grüner Veltliner, (or Gruener Veltliner when spelled without the Umlaut) is an indigenous white grape from Austria. Grüner Veltliner accounts for nearly 30% of the country's plantings making it the most widely grown grape in the country.
Grüner Veltliner is grown throughout the wine growing areas of Austria, but is most prominent in the area of Neiderösterrich (Lower Austria.) Grüner Veltliner is an ancient descendant of the white grape, Traminer, its other parent remains unknown.
Grüner Veltliner is a DAC classified wine in the wine growing areas of the Weinvertel DAC (District Appellation Control), Kremstal DAC, Kamptal DAC, Traisental DAC and Lethaiberg DAC. Other important growing areas include the areas of Wachau, Vienna, and Wagram despite the fact these regions are not currently recognized under the DAC system. Grüner Veltliner wines typically 12.5% abv, but can have more or less dependent on the region, the year and winemaker's personal style.
Grüner Veltliner is most commonly known as a bone-dry, highly acidic grape with distinct aromas and flavors of white pepper, green apple and citrus. While this is the typical flavor profile for young Grüner Veltliner wines, it is important to recognize that Grüner Veltliner is a very expressive grape and will show different dependent upon the region in which it is grown. For example, the Weinvertel will demonstrate high-acid, white pepper and green apple as noted, but a Grüner Veltliner from the Wachau is likely to show characteristics more typical of that of Riesling -richer, deeper fruit and a touch of stone; still other regions display different expressions that can include tropical notes, stone fruits, flint, smoke and more.
Though many Grüner Veltliner wines are made for immediate consumption, Grüner Veltliner can have incredible aging potential and can often be compared with white Burgundy, after all they are grown at roughly the same latitude. Grüner Veltliner made for aging will likely be slightly higher in alcohol and contain later-harvested grapes.
Although Grüner Veltliner is typically vinified dry, it may also be used on its own or as part of a cuvée to make sweeter styles such as Beerenauslese, Trokenbeeranauslese, Ruster Ausbruch (in the town of Rust only) or Eiswein.
Grüner Veltliner is an average-ripening grape and is typically harvested in October in Austria though weather conditions can force vine growers to harvest early.
Gruner Veltliner may be found in other areas of the world under the name of Weißgipfler, Grünmuskateller (AT), Veltlínské zelené (CZ), Zöld veltelini (HU), Veltlínske zelené (SK) or Zeleni veltlinec (SL).