October Wine Club

Oct 20, 2023

Often, I say, I’m a seasonal drinker. I like a crisp refreshing white or rosé on a hot day and a cozy juicy red on a grey day… Grüner Veltliner is however a varietal that I think is lovely year-round. In the summer on a hot and humid day, it’s refreshing and bright, in the winter when you’re enjoying some rich foods the acidity cuts through, and it makes a perfect food pairing wine. As we transition seasons, we found this to be a great variety to carry us through. Grüner Veltliner is the most commonly planted vine variety in Austria. It is also widely planted throughout Eastern Europe. With gaining popularity we are now seeing growth in Australia, New Zealand, and domestically as well, including our very own backyard, here in Michigan.

P. & E. Mullins

2021 Kracher Gruner Veltliner

Burgenland, Austria

To first showcase Grüner Veltliner we will start with the World-renowned Kracher Winery located in the heartland of Grüner Veltliner in Austria. Founded in 1959, about an hour and a half southeast of Vienna, the location of this winery is one of the qualities that sets it apart from the rest. The vineyards are tucked along the shores of two lakes, Neusiedl and Illmitz which creates a little microclimate for growing. The summers are hot and dry, the winters very cold and the moisture of the lake creates a heavy fog that sits low through the morning until the midday sun burns through. Winemaker Alois Kracher who originally practiced as a chemist, uses both traditional and innovative techniques to create outstanding wines. So much so, that he has been named winemaker of the year Great Britain Wine Magazine several times. In the glass, this is a super pale-yellow wine, with beautiful clarity. The nose is dry with notes of sawdust, sun-bleached hay, and golden delicious apples. The palate is zingy with acidity and notes of lemon curd and has a silky weight to anchor the body.

2022 Abbazia di Novacella

Alto Adige, Italy

From the foothills of the Alps on the Italian side, there is an Abbey dating back to 1142, the monks not only run the monastery but also work in the community, farm apples and vegetables, and also have a small school dedicated to viticulture and making world-class wine. The winemaker enologist Celestino Lucin has been acknowledged as winemaker of the year by Italy’s influential Gambero Rosso. The land and winery are all worked with organic practices but are not certified as the bureaucratic hoops of the Italian government are not a priority to them. The estate is more recognized for its production of world-class white wines. The vineyards are on steep inclines planted over ancient glaciers with terroir of granitic schist. Due to the dramatic landscape, vineyards really only produce for about 30 years on average. Although the winery itself is one of the oldest in the world with over 850 years of winemaking recorded. The wine is all fermented in stainless steel with indigenous yeast keeping an aromatic, fresh, and vibrant style. In the glass, this is a bright straw golden yellow. You can see the weight of it as you swirl it in your glass. On the nose are aromatics of apples and pears with tropical notes of pineapple and banana. There is a hint of cardamom through the nice, rounded palate finishing with mineral notes and a slightly bitter component.

2022 Stranger Wine Company Gruner Veltliner

Lake Michigan Shore AVA, Michigan

We are pleased to share with you a great expression of Grüner Veltliner from our very own corner of Michigan. We’ve visited Stranger Wine Company before, and we will continue to as we are so excited about what they are doing here and what that means for the future of wine in Michigan. Husband-and-wife team, Maxx Eicherg and Sidney Finan started the winery in early 2021 and they just finished their 2023 harvest. Focusing on sustainable and regenerative farming, these vineyards and this family team continue their focus on the stewardship of the land and transformation of their bounty. With just ten hours of skin contact and whole cluster fermentation on its lees in neutral barrels this wine is bottled unfiltered and unfined. In the glass its slightly cloudy with a melted butter hue. The nose takes you to the barn during apple harvest. This Grüner Veltliner has vibrant punch of acidity right up front and then mellows as its full body washes through.