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The Success Story of an Austrian Grape That Found its Way Into Australian Hearts – and Palates.

July 30, 2020 Visit Europe No Comments Email Email

World Cultural Heritage coupled with a landscape that is nothing short of inspirational – welcome to the Wachau, only 50 minutes west of Vienna.

The narrow Danube River valley running from Melk to Krems is home to Domäne Wachau, Europe’s best vineyard (and number three in the world) according to the latest ranking of World’s Best Vineyards. The picturesque towns of Krems, Dürnstein, Spitz and Weissenkirchen nestled along the terraced hills dotted with local Heurige (wine tavern) and cellar doors. One of the highlights in the region is the Wachau World Heritage Trail which follows historical paths to link together the 15 municipalities of the Wachau Valley.

Over millions of years, the Danube carved its serpentine path through solid gneiss and amphibolite shaping the striking picture of the Wachau’s viticultural landscape with its stone wall terraces. The tradition of winegrowing dates back to the time when the Romans settled in the Wachau valley. In the Middle Ages, Wachau wine was already known far beyond the borders of Austria. The climate and soil of the Wachau offer the perfect growing conditions for white grape varieties. To this day, Wachau wines enjoy great international acclaim, both amongst wine experts and wine lovers. One of these wines is Grüner Veltliner, the principal grape varieties in the Wachau besides Riesling.

When the time comes, and we can travel again here is a beautiful video to inspire you to discover the Wachau region:

Find more information about the Wachau here:

To try Grüner Veltliner from Europe’s best vineyard you don’t have to travel to Austria.

Domäne Wachau’s Grüner Veltliner can be purchased at DanMurphy’s, Vintage Cellars or BWS.

What does all of this have to do with Australia?

About a decade ago Larry Jacobs, one of the owners of Hahndorf Hill winery in the heart of the Adelaide Hills, was looking for a new grape variety he could bring to Australia. One that suits the ‘cool-climate’ of the region just 30 minutes outside of Adelaide, characterised by its high diurnal temperature variation (warm days and cold nights). During his research Larry opened a lot of wine bottles and one of them was a bottle of Grüner Veltliner. It was love at first sight. “In my eyes, Grüner Veltliner has the potential to be THE most complex white grape variety on the planet.”, says Jacobs, who carries the byname of “Grandfather of Grüner Veltliner” within the Australian winegrowing industry. After numerous research trips to Austria Hahndorf Hill started growing Grüner Veltliner in the Adelaide Hills. Since then, HHW Gru has not only won Gold Medals and Trophies within Australia but been rated as the best Grüner Veltliner outside of Austria by Austria’s most influential food & wine magazine Falstaff. Today, the Adelaide Hills now has the largest concentration of Grüner Veltliner vines in Australia, with approximately 30 different labels being produced. Who thought that a piece of Austria can be found right here in the south of Australia?

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