Wolfgang's Gru-Vee wines showcase remarkable examples of Austria's heralded Gruner Veltliner grape, the centerpiece of Austrian wines that has swiftly become sommeliers' favorite among the world's white varietals. Because nearly all of the annual Gru-Vee yield is consumed in Austria, the grape's charms have long been hidden from the rest of the world. In international tasting competitions, Gru-... Read more
Wolfgang's Gru-Vee wines showcase remarkable examples of Austria's heralded Gruner Veltliner grape, the centerpiece of Austrian wines that has swiftly become sommeliers' favorite among the world's white varietals. Because nearly all of the annual Gru-Vee yield is consumed in Austria, the grape's charms have long been hidden from the rest of the world. In international tasting competitions, Gru-Vees have regularly outshined the world's finest Chardonnays and white Burgundies. Wolfgang Vineyards' wines are not only great examples of Gruner Veltliner, they're also a great place to start your exploration of all the country's great wines. Be on the lookout for new wines from Wolfgang Vineyards as we continue to introduce the world to Austria's wonderful wine varietals. Austrian History Austria is a country with a rich and exciting wine history dating back to the dawn of civilization. The Celts settled in the Austrian region known as Burgenland around 700 BC, and were one among the first to make wine, for use in their rituals and for daily consumption. They began to develop sophisticated wine-making techniques and provided an ideal foundation of agricultural skill and knowledge when the Romans invaded present day Austria in the 1st century BC. The soldiers stationed there accounted for a high demand for Austrian wine and were able to keep the wine-producing culture alive. The Celtic natives in turn, learned from the advanced Roman technology and incorporated it into their wine-making techniques. During the Middle Ages, French monks from Burgundy settled in the Burgenland area, bringing with them wine-making knowledge along with new grapes that helped to expand the Austrian wine culture. Wine production flourished, and special winery schools were established in the mid-1800’s to advance the art of Austrian wine growing. The Second World War destroyed most of the old wines created before the twentieth century, but the knowledge and skill of how to make these prestigious wines stayed hidden from the violence. The Austrian wineries were rebuilt and began to mesh modern day machinery with their ancient knowledge of wine making. This advancement has allowed Austrian wines to be produced in greater, though still limited, quantities and find their way into the international market. Today, people around the world are able to share in the history and prestige of these remarkable wines. Wine Regions The four wine producing regions found within Austria are: Niederosterreich, Styria, Vienna, and Burgenland. All four of these regions are located in the Eastern border of Austria. Niederosterreich is the largest of the four and is often called “Lower Austria” as Niederosterreich sits lower on the Danube River than “Upper Austria”. Styria, the southern most wine region in Austria, is well known for its many extinct volcanoes and rich, fertile soil. The region of Vienna is also home to the nation’s capital, one of the only cities in the world to contain wine vineyards within the city limits. Burgenland is the most rustic and traditional of the four Austrian wine regions. A narrow, flat province that stretches up the Eastern side of Austria, Burgenland is a rich, arable land and is home to a diverse and lively culture. Burgenland is one of the least populated areas in Austria, and to this day resembles the same simple fields tilled by local vintners’ ancestors. Burgenland Burgenland is located on the far Eastern side of Austria and stretches for several miles along the Hungarian border. Burgenland is one of the flattest and most arable wine regions in Austria. It is famous for its red, iron-rich soil. Burgenland is most notably acclaimed for its ability to produce botrytised dessert wines each year. A botrytised wine is one that contains grapes infected with the Botrytis cinerea, or Noble Rot, fungus. These prized wines are particularly sweet and are extremely hard to produce. The shallow lake Neusiedl, along with the flat terrain of Burgenland, provides the perfect environment for the fungus to grow during the harvest season. The Gru-Vee grapes, which are mostly grown in the Niederosterreich region, take on a unique flavor here: the rich soil allows for a slightly spicy and more powerful taste when compared to Gru-Vee grapes grown in Niederosterreich. Each vineyard in this region has a unique story to tell. Many of the wineries here have been in the same families for hundreds of years, and all take great pride in producing some of the world’s finest wines. Our family started their wine producing heritage with a single vineyard in the province of Styria. Today, that same vineyard is still owned and cultivated by members of our family, and still produces some of the finest wines in Austria. When Burgenland became a province in the early 20th century, two brothers purchased several acres in the province and established a second vineyard. They took a winemaking heritage from the old vineyards in Styria and combined it with the untouched, rich soil of Burgenland. This combination has allowed us to continue to produce some of Austria’s finest wines, extending a centuries-old winemaking history into the 21st century, and now - for the first time - to bring these wines to lovers of fine wine around the world. Read less
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