Grooner Gruner Veltliner 2015
The Forstreiter family has been making wine here since 1868, but it is the current owner and winemaker, Meinhard Forstreiter, who has brought the winery to a new level of quality and reputation, utilizing the most advanced modern technology, yet using sound, sustainable methods. Weingut Forstreiter’s 28 hectare/69 acre vineyard is situated in Krems-Hollenburg in the Kremstal, Niederösterreich, Austria, along the banks of the Danube River, across from the Wachau. There has been wine production in this area since the Roman Empire. Most of the Forstreiter wine grows close to the Danube on south or east facing terraces on “konglomerate”, with different layers of loess, clay and sandy soil. This “Hollenburger the banks of the Danube. The unique soil formations and microclimate of this area produce exceptional fruity, spicy and peppery wines with lots of minerals.
Appreciated for superior wines made from indigenous varieties, Austria should be on the radar of any curious wine drinker. A rather cool and dry wine growing region, this country produces wine that is quintessentially European in style: food-friendly with racy acidity, moderate alcohol and fresh fruit flavors.
Austria’s viticultural history is rich and vast, dating back to Celtic tribes with first written record of winemaking starting with the Romans. But the 20th century brought Austria a series of winemaking obstacles, namely the plunder of both world wars, as well as its own self-imposed quality breach. In the mid 1980s, after a handful of shameless vintners were found to have added diethylene glycol (a toxic substance) to their sweet wines to imitate the unctuous qualities imparted by botrytis, Austria’s credibility as a wine-producing country was compromised. While no one was harmed, the incident forced the country to rebound and recover stronger than ever. By the 1990s, Austria was back on the playing field with exports and today is prized globally for its quality standards and dedication to purity and excellence.
Grüner Veltliner, known for its racy acidity and herbal, peppery aromatics, is Austria's most important white variety, comprising nearly a third of Austrian plantings. Riesling in Austria is high in quality but not quantity, planted on less than 5% of the country’s vineyard land. Austrian Rieslings are almost always dry and are full of bright citrus flavors and good acidity. Red varietal wines include the tart and peppery Zweigelt, spicy and dense Blaufränkisch and juicy Saint Laurent. These red varieties are also sometimes blended.
Fun to say and delightfully easy to drink, Grüner Veltliner calls Austria its homeland. While some easily quaffable Grüners come in a one-liter—a convenient size—many high caliber single vineyard bottlings can benefit from cellar aging. Somm Secret—About 75% of the world’s Grüner Veltliner comes from Austria but the variety is gaining ground in other countries, namely Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and the United States.