The Grüner Veltliner Story

With our first vintage of Grüner Veltliner in 2005, Reustle - Prayer Rock Vineyards became the first winery in the U.S. to produce this remarkable varietal. Stephen Reustle tells the story of pioneering Grüner Veltliner in the foothills of Oregon's Umpqua Valley:
 
"I was in Austria on a motorcycle tour of the Alps in 2001 and went into an expensive restaurant.  I asked the waiter to bring out what he thought was the best example of Austrian white wine, and he brought out a Grüner Veltliner (pronounced Velt-LEANER). Now at the time, I had been a wine collector for 20 years and had never heard of it before. But I tried it and thought it was simply sublime."
 
“I never forgot that experience in Austria, and a few years later, upon starting Reustle - Prayer Rock  Vineyards, I realized no one was producing Grüner here in the states. I consulted with Southern Oregon University climatologist Greg Jones about our heat unit accumulation and  discovered our site in the Umpqua Valley was well matched for Grüner. So we took a risk and planted it in 2003, becoming the first to commercially produce Grüner in 2005." 
 
"From the very first vintage, I was immediately impressed with the fruit and crisp acidity of the Austrian wine, and have been overwhelmed by the positive response of our Wine Club members and wine competition results. Our Estate Grüner has always done well in competitions, but in 2009, 
we released our first Grüner Veltliner Reserve (a slightly fuller, more unctuous style of wine) and was blown away by the results: We won a Chairman's Unanimous Gold at Riverside International, as well as a Double Platinum in the Wine Press NW "Best of the Best" competition. This confirmed to me the versatility of Grüner and it's unmistakable appeal. I look forward to the years ahead, continuing to champion this grape to our visitors and Wine Club Members."
 
Stephen M. Reustle