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Austrian wine has made its definitive statement with Grüner Veltliner. As many of us know by now, Grüner is a refreshing white with aromas and flavors of citrus and white pepper. In the right hands, Grüner transcends the character of the terroir and the winemaker’s personality. It’s little wonder it has long been Austria’s signature white variety.
In the 1950s, it became the country’s most widely planted grape, for the most part, thanks to Lenz Moser’s development of the hochkultur (high culture) training system, which allows easy maintenance with the use of machinery. Grüner is a somewhat finicky grape known to overproduce, which can affect quality. Because of this and its sensitivity to dryness and certain fungal diseases, Austrians often view it as quite “needy.”