We are beyond excited to introduce our fans to our newest varietal from the Huston Vineyards Estate, Grüner Veltliner (Groo-ner Vhelt-lee-ner), or Gru V for short. A spring release is planned for the 2020 vintage so you can be feeling groovy along with us, just in time for warm weather sipping.
Huston owners, Gregg and Mary Alger, had their first experience with Grüner in Sonoma County, specifically Sonoma Mountain. They met one of the few California growers of Grüner and talked and tasted through the uniqueness of this grape. That weekend started the journey to select the right block for their own Grüner and began the conversation about the style they wanted to produce. Grüner is very much like Riesling in that it can be crafted in many different styles.
Since that first experience, they have ordered Grüner in restaurants numerous times and tried food that they thought would pair nicely with the wine. Some of their favorites were seafood on the Oregon coast, steamed artichokes, and of course, weiner schnitzel. Sometimes winemaker’s research is pretty fantastic! Gregg and Mary then took the research to the next level, blind tasting Grüner Veltliners from Oregon, Washington and Austria. Blind tasting offers complete discovery that is not inhibited by packaging, pricing, or region.
If you are unfamiliar with this grape, Grüner Veltliner is a white grape that is most closely associated with Austria. It is a mid-ripening grape known for the ability to be crafted in a variety of styles. Most of the world’s Grüner Veltliner is produced in the premier growing regions of Austria including, Wachau, Steinfeder, Federspiel, and Smaragd. Here are some of the style variations among the regions:
- Steinfeder–Fresh and crisp, low alcohol content, under 11.5%
- Federspiel–Racy high acidity under 12.5%
- Smaragd–Richer with longer age-ability 12.5%+
Huston Vineyards is the first to grow the Grüner varietal in Idaho and the Snake River Valley AVA and the first to produce an Estate Grüner Veltliner in 2020. During the summer that the vines were planted, we worked long hours in the hot Idaho sun. It is a time that will forever stand out in memory because there were so many exciting things happening at Huston! In addition to the new Grüner vines being planted, the digging began to create the ponds that will flank the entrance to our new production facility and tasting room. Jacob, the oldest Alger son, took a short break from farming to graduate from High School and prepared to head off to college. And, you may remember, Hershey the winery dog gave birth to 8 puppies! Josh, the younger Alger son, got to choose one puppy to keep which was nearly named Gruner but ended up being Mourvey after Mourvèdre.
Huston’s vineyard provides the perfect convergence of cooler conditions allowing for excellent acid development. The cool nature of the vineyard site coupled with the extreme diurnal shift of our region’s weather, allows for ripeness to develop with the heat of the day and cool nights to settle the acids. The particular growing site on the Huston estate contains perfect soil conditions of silty/sandy loess, which provides the balance of nutrient and vine health allowing for the unique complexity in the wines.
Grüner Veltliner has two characteristics that we value highly, it expresses terroir exceptionally well and is a versatile food companion.
Huston’s first vintage release has zesty citrus notes, with a hint of white pepper, and calcium minerality. This style most closely resembles the Smaragd style of Austrian Gruner. Bookmark this page to purchase from our online shop after release.