Grüner Veltliner or “green grape from the village of Veltlin in the Tirol” (the literal translation) is native to Austria — Tirol (also referred to as Tyrol) being a western Austrian state. One in every three vines planted across the country is Grüner Veltliner. The variety’s lineage can be traced back to ancient parents, one of which even has a relationship to Pinot Noir. But it is its own thing. There are other varieties in this part of the world with “Veltliner” attached to their names as well, but they have no connection to Grüner (its fun nickname).
Grüner Veltliner can generally be found in more casual restaurants, especially in Vienna, as a refreshing and playful white wine with hints of lemon and pepper, but it can also be found on fine-dining wine lists across the country as an age-worthy white wine, showing even more layers of aroma and texture. Today, this variety and its different styles have gone global. The new world of wine is taking this grape on and seeing some amazing results.
Grüner Veltliner thrives on subtlety. These wines have texture and round fruit with blousy acidity, but it’s in the corners of your perception where citrus, pepper, and apples flit around your senses. It’s the quiet hint of ginger or banana on the more aged examples that add a layer to the enjoyment of these wines.
We had a great time sipping through the many expressions of Grüner Veltliner. We tasted great examples from its homeland in Austria, to its neighboring countries, and all the way to Long Island, Michigan, and even Southern California. Here are 14 of the best Grüner Veltliners for 2023.
Ribbon Ridge Winery Ridgecrest Estate Grüner Veltliner 2022
Oregon’s wine history began in the 1960s but really started gaining popularity after the 2004 movie “Sideways,” due to the increased demand for Pinot Noir. But between the ‘60s and the movie, winemakers were building something special, a national focus on the Pinot Noir grape and the many terroirs of the Willamette Valley. Today the state has come a long way and Pinot is not the only thing happening here. What’s exciting is to see high-acid, cool-climate white wine varieties thriving in this region as well. Ribbon Ridge Winery has taken on the challenge and won. This Grüner Veltliner has a mineral-driven nose with ripe pear fruit. The palate is lean, quenching, and textured with subtle notes of what you get on the nose. This is a very skillfully made New World Grüner.
Average Price: $27
Where is Grüner Veltliner From?
The name Grüner Veltliner directly translates to “green grape from the village of Veltlin in the Tirol,” a state in western Austria. The grape is widely considered native to Austria, and this is also where the variety thrives. One out of every three vines planted in Austria is Grüner Veltliner, and its popularity in this region has made the grape synonymous with Austria itself.
Do Countries Outside of Austria Make Good Grüner Veltliner Wines?
While Austria is Grüner’s home, there are a lot of great examples coming out of other regions, including the countries surrounding Austria as well as some from the New World. Delicious and unique expressions of Grüner Veltliner can be found from Hungary, the Czech Republic, Northern Italy, New Zealand, Oregon, California, and even Long Island.
VinePair’s Tasting Methodology
Throughout the year, VinePair conducts numerous tastings for our popular Buy This Booze column, and wine and spirits reviews. Our mission is to provide a clear, reliable source of information for drinkers, providing an overview applicable to day-to-day buying and drinking.
Tastings are not typically conducted blind. In alignment with our reviews mission, we believe in purposefully tasting all products as our readers typically would, with full knowledge of the producer, the region, and — importantly — the price.