Definition - What does Gruner Veltliner mean?
The Grüner Veltliner grape is originally from Austria, where it covers a third of all the vineyard sites. Outside of Austria, it can also be found in Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
In Austria, Grüner Veltliner can be found in the appellations of Traisental, Kamptal and Kremstal and in the region of Wachau, where it is most popular. It is often planted with another white grape, Riesling.
Grüner Veltliner is known for making light-bodied wines with delicate fruits and many characteristics of the terroir. Grüner Veltliner wine is meant to be consumed young and is known for light, earthy vegetable notes of carrot leaf or celery and fresh herbs and spices like thyme or white pepper. Other styles of Grüner Veltliner wines can be sweeter, because they are late harvest wines (referred to as Auslese or Spatlese) - these wines are full-bodied and have flavors and aromas of ripe stone fruits and honey. The honey aspect in the wine is imparted from grapes which have been affected by botrytis cinerea or noble rot.
WineFrog explains Gruner Veltliner
The origin of Grüner Veltliner dates back to Roman times and is indigenous to Austria. While the exact pedigree of the grape remains a mystery, it has been confirmed to be a cross which occurred naturally between the Savagnin grape and another, which has yet to be named. The other official parent of Grüner Veltliner, Pinot Noir.
The regions in which Grüner Veltliner thrives are colder wine regions in northern Europe. For dry styles of Grüner Veltliner wine, the nose can be potent of fresh-cut herbs and spices, similar to the spice of the Gewurztraminer grape. There are later harvest wines of Gruner Veltliner which are made from the same grapes of the same vineyards of the drier styles of wine. They are harvested by hand and then weighed for their sugar content.
By later harvests, most grapes will be infected with noble rot (botrytis cinerea) which will concentrate sugars and increase acidity. The most well-known attribute to wines from grapes with noble rot will be honey, but with a delicate balance of acidity. These are collector wines and they can be aged for up to or more than four decades.