Grüner Veltliner - Spear Vineyards & Winery
Grüner Veltliner plantings are rare in the United States. In fact, the variety is nearly impossible to find outside of Austria and its neighboring countries. This unique white grape produces heavily spiced, slightly herbaceous wines with strong mineral acidity and subtle but pure fruit notes. It is usually made in a completely dry style that is deliciously crisp & refreshing. While most affordable bottlings of this stuff would not be considered "serious" Grüner is also capable of more full-bodied interpretations that can rival some of the best Chardonnay in the world. Grüner thrives in cool weather which allows for slow ripening and development of complex secondary flavors.
Recently a few small plantings of Grüner Veltliner have arisen in the Santa Rita Hills AVA of Santa Barbara. The vines first appeared in the Fiddlestix Vineyard owned by Fiddlehead Cellars and almost immediately the wines they produced garnered tremendous praise. In 2013 another small planting was made in the Spear Vineyard - pictured here is a Grüner cluster from that site. While Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc dominate the white wine landscape in California it is awesome to see unique and delicious varieties like Grüner popping up and beginning to show their potential. We love the classics, but it is always fun to try new wines that push the boundaries of what is possible in a region. Exploration is the only way to determine what new combinations of fruit and terroir have potential for greatness, and we're down for the journey!