No other grape has experienced the desperate lows, or the meteoric rise that Gruner has. Once only known in this country for the 1985 diethylene glycol wine scandal, where unscrupulous wine makers in Austria attempted to offset a run of disastrous vintages by adding this toxic product to the wines to improve sweetness. It was such a monumental disaster for the industry, that it was even parodied on The Simpsons many years later.
Now though, it is known by those in the industry as a grape variety capable of making some of the most elegant and age worthy wines in the world, recently beating more prestigious wines in multiple blind tastings. In fact, its burgeoning reputation is growing so fast, it will soon cease to be a hidden gem and will be firmly rooted in the mainstream of drinking habits.
So you can imagine our excitement when we were able to get our hands on a Gruner from one of the world’s most pioneering vintners. Originally from Austria, the pioneering winemaker Larry Jacobs managed to import three different clones of the grape directly from Austria to Australia in 2006. He introduced the first vintage in 2010, and has been making ground-breaking wines ever since.
Grüner may be new to Australia, but cool-climate region of Adelaide Hills offers the perfect terroir for this variety that thrives in the warm days and cool nights of Hahndorf Hill. The red-blue slate of the loamy topsoil is a testament to the long forgotten slate mine that helped build the settlers’ homes over a hundred years ago, and supplies the roots of the Grüner with the minerality it is becoming famous for.