Austria is becoming well-known for Grüner Veltliner. This crisp white not only tastes good - the grape variety is on the label which makes life far easier as we wander down the wine aisle. That we can pronounce ‘Grü-ner Velt-liner’ also helps the Austrian cause!

At a recent corporate event I included Loimer’s Grüner Veltliner 2016 to show the potential of this Austrian grape variety. The mouth-filling citrus peach fruit balanced with a spicy acidity went down really well. For the record, Weingut (winery) Loimer’s Grüner Veltliner comes from the prestigious Kamptal region about an hour’s drive north-west of Vienna.

The Kamptal region boasts Langenlois, Austria’s largest wine producing town and takes its name from the River Kamp that flows serenely through the attractive vineyard valleys. Kamptal gained its D.A.C. (“Districtus Austriae Controllatus”), Austria’s status for special region-typical Quality Wines, for Grüner Veltliner in 2008. Interestingly, Kamptal Riesling received its D.A.C. crown in the same year. At about 300 metres above sea level, the Kamp Valley is blessed with cool nights and warm days with long, sunny autumns, producing grapes with full ripeness and fine flavours. The Kamp flows into the mighty River Danube where the loess and loam soil terraces suit Grüner Veltliner ‘down to the ground’

For all you red wine fans out there, these soils also hit the spot for a couple of Austrian reds, Zweigelt, (a crossing of two Austrian red grapes, St. Laurent and Blaufrankisch) and the Burgundian classic Pinot Noir. Kamptal Pinot Noir isn’t cheap but it’s well worth a try; one of the best wines I tasted on a visit to the region a couple of years ago was a Pinot Noir made by Rudi Rabl of the Rabl winery in Langenlois.   

The other principal white grape of Kamptal is our old friend Riesling. This Kamptal classic comes in two distinct styles; a crisp, steely glassful or a fuller style which helpfully has the word ‘Reserve’ on the front label. I say helpful, for as with much in the Wine Trade it’s only helpful if you know what it means! Most consumers haven’t a clue what it means but typically the Wine Trade doesn’t seem to bother too much - I still don’t understand why. Surely education will bring more people into wine?

Weingut Brundlmayer Steinmassel Kamptal Riesling 2015 was another star of my event. The tongue-twisting name makes it a mouthful in more ways than one but of course, you can always practice your pronunciation in front of the mirror before your guests arrive!

The Kamptal region is popular with tourists so if you find yourself in the attractive wine town of Langenlois, don’t forget to walk through the vineyards high above its white walls and cobbled square where the brilliant ‘wine route’ is marked by beautiful vineyard vistas, entertaining information panels and fantastic interactive wine sculptures. There are also picnic spots where you can meet  friends and enjoy your favourite Kamptal wine, be it Grüner Veltliner, Riesling, Zweigelt or Pinot Noir.   

Read more recent Austria coverage on Snooth:

The Next Go-To Red is Austria’s Zweigelt