May’s Superstar Wine of the Month

Austrian wines reflect the unique terroir of their homeland, particularly whites produced from some indigenous varieties which give them a peculiarly appealing character.

One of the clearest examples is Grüner Veltliner, a widely grown grape that gives a charismatic touch to Austrian white wines, particularly the ones made in Wachau, one of its most emblematic districts.

This area is considered, perhaps, “the greatest” and “the most fascinating ” due to the romantic setting of the vineyards on the steep terraces of the River Danube  between the historic towns of Melk and Krems, surrounded by idyllic villages. The Romans  were the first to recognize this area as being a particularly favourable environment for growing wine grapes. Grüner Veltliner grows well on the gentle loess south facing terraces and develops its peculiarly spicy-peppery aromas.

Although a grape that is unique to Austria, it seems to have North Italian origins as the translation of its name is “the green Valtelinesa.” because Veltliner means “from the Valtellina”, (a valley in the Alps of Italy)  and “Grüner” is green in German.

Late ripening, it easily adapts to various type of soils faithfully expressing the terroir. The best wines are able to age, emphasising the elegant texture, its subtle herbaceous and white pepper aromas and its lively mineral acidity.

This month’s superstar is the Grüner Veltliner Ried Schütt Smaragd, Weingut Emmerich Knoll 2010.  This magnificent sample of Grüner Veltliner is produced by Emmerich Knoll, one most famous Austrian wine estates that has gained the highest Wachau classification Smaragd, only given to top quality wines.

Brilliant golden green, the nose displays peachy aromas with herbaceous and spicy hints. Palate is full and intense, balanced by a vibrant acidity and racy minerality.  It has an intense savoury white-peppery finish.

Perhaps not a wine for a simple Sunday lunch, however it is a perfect companion for a Catalane Lobster, or sea food pasta.

Available on-line £ 23,00 per bottle at

Superstar Wine of the Month selected by Simona Caprioli. Why not mail us with your suggestion for Wine of the Month at