Best GrüVe of Hungary: Steigler Bio 2022
Wine of the Week
Grüner Veltliner is mostly known as one of the best white Austrian grape variety however, “GrüVe” can give great wines on the other side of the border, in Hungary as well. Sopron wine region on the west of Hungary has a unique climate and soil structure, and the grape also has its tradition here. Steigler is an organic winery with outstanding wines – as it was also proved at the last edition of Winelovers Wine Awards.
A serious wine competition
Winelovers Wine Awards international wine competition, held for the second time in July 2023, attracted wines from 14 countries. The jury comprising 65 wine experts and winemakers represented 19 countries and included several Masters of Wine and one Master Sommelier evaluating 839 wines. (I–Ágnes Németh, the editor of Hungarianwines.eu–was also involved in this international wine contest organized in Budapest for the second time. My duty was to invite and take care of the foreign jury members–therefore I have first-hand experience of the expertise of the jury.)
Crispy, zesty, easy
Organic farming, Guyot training system, yield: 8000 kg/ha. Fermentation in stainless steel tank at low temperature, ageing in stainless steel tank on fine lees for 6 months. “A lighter, more easy going Zöldveltelini (Grüner Veltliner) from Steigler Cellar with vivid greenish yellow colour and amazingly fresh nose – mainly with grapefruit, lime and fresh green herbs. The crispy acidity and the subtle carbon dioxide makes the wine even more refreshing and zesty.”
Have you not heard about Grüner Veltliner / Zöldveltelini?
In Hungary in 2022 there were 1237 hectares under vines of the variety–much more than for example Juhfark, the flagship grape of Somló with only 145 hectares. In Sopron wine region with its 98 hectares Grüner Veltliner–in Hungarian Zöldveltelini–is the most planted white grape.
As mentioned earlier, Grüner Veltelini is a top quality, versatile white grape in Austria, there are more than 17 000 hectares unter the variety. The Czech Republic and Slovakia also have significant amount along with Hungary. There is a small amount in the US, in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
As for the origin of Grüner Veltliner, we can find the following in the book called Wine Grapes: “The earliest mention of Grüner Veltliner dates back to the eighteenth century. Despite its name, Grüner Veltliner has no link with Valtellina. Recent DNA profiling unexpectedly uncovered the parentage of Grüner Veltliner: it is a natural cross between Traminer (SAVAGNIN) and, very likely, an obscure vine found in St Georgen am Leithagebirge near Eisenstadt (Regner 2007). This old vine has a unique DNA profile and is currently the only known survivor of this variety.”
Excerpt From: Robinson, Jancis; Harding, Julia; Vouillamoz, Jose. “Wine Grapes (9780062325518)”. Apple Books.