Ever of a Heuriger heard? Those are taverns in Austria where local farmers serve their wines during the growing season. Fresh from the land, in your glass. One of the favourites that is invariably on the menu: Grüner Veltliner. Such a name suggests a lot of greenery. - TEXT EVELIJN VAN HEUVEN | IMAGE SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
Green, greener, grüner
At the Heuriger it's all about wines, a bite to eat and, above all, lots of Gemütlichkeit; wooden tables, the occasional lady in a dirndl and nostalgic music contribute to this. The wines are young, true greens. Grüner Veltliner, one of Austria's most popular grapes, cannot of course be missing in such a setting, as it is - alongside Mozartkugeln and schnitzel - one of the country's best-known exports. It is often said that the name grüner veltliner is a corruption of 'green wine from Veltlin', a region in northern Italy. Yet this has not been proven to date. Indeed, it is very likely that its origins are not in Italy at all, but in Austria.
Its history? Grüner veltliner does not actually have a very good name at the beginning of the 20th century. Only from the moment winemaker Lenz Moser got involved did the grape make big leaps. Moser championed the so-called 'Hochkultur', a new guidance system in which grapes hang over a metre above the ground. One of the big advantages of this is that they are better protected from frost.
Want to know more about Grüner Veltliner? You can read about it in WINELIFE 83. You can order this one here!
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