At Hahndorf Hill we are passionate about Austrian varieties and are pioneering Gruner Veltliner, Blaufrankisch, Zweigelt and St Laurent in Australia.
It is our familiarity with Blaufrankisch, which has grown at Hahndorf Hill for over 25 years, that led us ultimately to its exciting white counterpart - Gruner Veltliner.
Having been unable to source Gruner plant material in Australia, we managed in 2006 to import three different clones directly from Austria, and again in 2009 a further three clones/clonal selections from Austria, all of which passed successfully through the Australian quarantine system.
In 2010 we released our debut vintage - which we affectionately named Gru. This was the first production of Gruner in South Australia (and the second within Australia, the first being Lark Hill from the Canberra wine region in 2009).
Gru becomes a hit
After 10 vintages our Gru continues to be enthusiastically received by the wine critics, who applaud its fresh feel and varietal authenticity.
In The Sydney Morning Herald, Huon Hooke wrote of our debut vintage: 'I was shocked by how authentic an Adelaide Hills gruner veltliner tasted. It's a strikingly close replica of the Austrian model.'
Since then, our Gruners have been awarded numerous Gold Medals as well as six Trophies within Australia, and our Gru Gruner Veltliner 2016 was awarded 97 points by James Halliday. Recently both our Gru Gruner Veltliner 2018 and White Mischief Gruner Veltliner 2018 were honoured by being placed on James Halliday's Top 100 Wines of 2019 list.
Commenting on our Gruner Veltliner journey, James Halliday wrote: '2010 marked the first release of a South Australian gruner veltliner and Hahndorf Hill has led the way ever since.'
The HHW Gru has made waves on the international stage, too. Austria's influential Falstaff magazine rated our 2012 Gru as the best Gruner Veltliner outside of Austria in its 2013 International Gruner Veltliner Tasting. (Our Gru topped 28 other Gruners from Europe, USA, New Zealand and Australia.) For the full results, click here.
In addition, our Gru Gruner Veltliner 2017 was ranked as the joint top-rated example outside of Austria, together with another winner from Germany, in the Global Gruner Challenge 2019. The Challenge was held in Austria by the country's influential Vinaria magazine in conjunction with Winestate magazine. 170 Gruner Veltliners wines from both within and outside Austria were tasted in this international competition. The top 12 wines included 10 Gruners from Austria, one from Germany and one from Australia (the Hahndorf Hill Gru Gruner Veltliner 2017). This Hahndorf Hill Gruner achieved 4˝ stars and was ranked alongside top Gruner Veltliners from Austria's most famous and iconic wineries in the Wachau, Kremstal and Kamptal wine regions.
More recently, our Gru Gruner Veltliner 2019 was rated as the top Gruner Veltliner, with the only Gold Medal awarded in the Gruner Veltliner category, at the prestigious Decanter World Wine Awards 2020, London. This was despite competition from celebrated Gruner producers in Austria.
We now produce four different styles of Gruner Veltliner: