Varietal: Gruner Veltliner
At the forefront of high quality central European wines is the much admired Gruner Veltliner grape varietal. This pale skinned and highly versatile grape can be used for the production of excellent still white wines, as well as soft, mellow and beautifully aged wines. In many regions around central Europe, winemakers use the Gruner Veltliner to make elegant sparkling wines, which are highly appreciated by wine drinkers for the fact that they have an ability to clearly express the delightfully mineral-rich tones of the terroir the grapes were grown on. Due to the success and pervading popularity of the Gruner Veltliner varietal in many parts of Europe, recent decades have seen this grape being cultivated in several, cooler regions in the New World, to much success.
Hungary's wine industry suffered a real drop in reputation throughout most of the twentieth century due to the homogenization of wines under the Soviet Union. However, today the historic wineries of Tokaj and the regions around the great Balaton lake are working tirelessly to bring Hungary's wines to the world once again, and demonstrate just how wonderful and varied the country's produce is. By far the most highly esteemed of all Hungary's wines are the famous Tokaji wines â€“ once the favorite of the crowned heads of Europe, now a favorite with anyone looking for something unique, flavorful and surprising. Tokaji wines are made using noble rot, which withers the grapes and concentrates the sugars of the fruit. The resulting wine is slightly viscous, and packed full of fascinating flavors.