Has Grüner Veltliner's consonant-heavy name put off your interest in enjoying a bottle? Fret no more! Pronounced GROO-nur velt-LEE-ner, this Austrian gem is more than worth the enunciation effort, as is evident on the first sip of the mineral-rich white. Even better, thanks to its relatively limited prominence in the US market it's often a great bargain buy, with quality far surpassing its moderate price tag — many exceptional bottles are in the $15-$25 range. But before you snap up a bottle (or two) to try, let's delve briefly in the nitty-gritty of this superb varietal:
- While Grüner Veltliner is Austria's national grape — and commands the greatest acreage of any grape grown there — it's also grown (in much smaller quantities) in the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, and regions in Washington, Oregon, and California.
- Grüners are known for having a marked sense of terroir, making the region from which they hail a particular point of interest. Much of the crop comes from the rocky terraced river banks of the Danube river in the northern part of Austria, which lends a pronounced mineral note to the wine — something we can certainly get behind.