2019 Michael Gindl Grüner Veltliner 'Little Buteo'
Region: Weinviertel < Niderosterreich < Austria
Grapes: Grüner Veltliner
Vineyard/Cellar stats: Biodynamic farming + winemaking; loam, loess and sandstone soils; 50% direct press, 50% 4-8 hour maceration, spontaneous fermentation in stainless steel, aged 6 months in stainless steel; bottled unfined/unfiltered with no added So2; zero-zero; 11.5% ABV
Winemaker: Michael Gindl
The Weinviertal region, just north of Vienna, is where Austria's mass production of Gruner Veltliner happens. Like so many of these large growing areas worldwide, its generally quantity over quality, but there are a handful of producers who are producing very honest and pure wines that express the unique potential of the Weinviertal terroir. Michael Gindl is one such producer.
Michael began making wine at his family's estate while attending agricultural school in his teens. Now, at 33 years old, he's one of the most progressive winemakers in Austria. Inspired by the wines of his grandfather, which were made with no manipulation or intervention, he converted his winery and vineyards to Demeter-certified biodynamic farming in 2014, transforming the estate into a fully functioning biodynamic farm complete with highland cattle, goats, wheat, vegetables and fruits. He even harvests his own acacia and oak trees to make his barrels. We love this guy, almost as much as we love this edgy Grüner.
Named Buteo (buzzard) after the birds on his farm, which he says are wild and free like his wine, and the guardian of his vineyards, this is Grüner with a few hours of skin contact, giving it some texture but not taking it to an orange level. We’ve tasted a lot of Grüner over the years and have never found one this interesting. Complex, rich, and fascinating, this is a tightly woven wine with a clear-cut structure, electric citrus fruit, grass and minerality. Pair with cool weather favorites like spicy Thai curry or spicy chili -- because Grüner Veltliners are famous for balancing spice and cutting through fat in food.