Cork Talk: Grüner Veltliner
"Gruner Veltliner, an Austrian grape that's made its way to the Adelaide Hills. A unique white variety that shines with time on skins. Head Winemaker Sam Berketa chats what makes this grape so special and what to expect when the next bottles roll into Alpha Box & Dice.
"It's such an interesting white variety, in that it's so different to others. It's got lovely acidity. It's got lovely texture. It's got such unique flavours as well: lots of spice and white pepper. "
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"As a variety, it originally comes from Austria, but it's found its way into the Adelaide Hills becuase there are really nice, warm days here, but still cool nights.
So, it's good to hold onto its acidity, but it gets this beautiful ripeness, the skins get lovely and ripe, which is where a lot of that flavour is held."
"One of the really interesting things about Grüner is that it changes from this really bright dark green colour as an unripe immature berry to something that's really quite golden and orb-like.
The leaf itself has these five different lobes that are quite unique and distinctive to Grüner Veltliner. Unlike things like Shiraz, it doesn't have a real pointed middle lobe.
One of the things we do with Grüner that I really like as well is cane pruning, which is where we take a cane from last year, lay it down along the wire instead of having a permanent cordon where we spur prune. This allows us to re-establish new wood every year and also allows us to manage the amount of crop we get out of it."
"I do think that Grüner needs a portion of barrel ferment to be able to give it the best expression of the variety. We will do a portion of it in stainless, we’ll do a portion of it in oak, which will be blended back at the end. We'll also leave it on lees for a longer period of time to give it that generosity and richness.
Working with Grüner in the cellar in the past, it responds really, really well to skin contact. It just brings out these more interesting quince and almond-y aromas to it, which just help support all that brighter fruit and that acid line and just really build up the palate to make it into a much more complex style of wine."