Roter Veltliner

The Roter Veltliner, earned little attention the last years,now is becoming a trendy niche product with cult potential.

For a long time, the rumor persisted that this was a relative of the indigenous grape Grüner Veltliner. This presumption was refuted in the nineties by Ferdinand Regner, member of the HBLA and BA for fruit and wine in Klosterneuburg. The truth is, that the Grüner Veltliner does not belong to the Veltiner family. A connection probably exists between the Roter Veltliner and the Veltliner family. Varieties such as Silvaner, Neuburger, Frühroter Veltliner, Rotgipfler and Zierfandler can be traced back to the Roter Veltliner. However, the geographical origin of the variety is not clarified.

The Roter Veltliner is now prevalent in Lower Austria, particularly in the region Wagram. In 1999, according to the vineyard census, the Roter Veltliner was planted on little less then 260 hectares of vineyards. 10 years after it was reduced for a quarter (190 hectares). Thanks to the commitment of a few specialists who could keep the species and establish it better and better by a return to tradition and local varieties, especially in the last decade. This is also reflected in the costumer's demands.

This medium to late ripening grape requires warm locations. The variety is very vigorous so lean soils are favorable. The Roter Veltliner tolerates drought significantly better than the Grüner Veltliner. In addition, the Roter Veltliner is very susceptible to fungal diseases and sometimes very sensitive to frost. The harvest of this variety can be described as average, but also unsafe.

The variety Roter Veltliner is recognized by its reddish, tomentose shoot tip, large, five-lobed and deeply lobed leaves with reddish veining and large and especially red grapes with thick-skinned berries.


Interview with Bernhard Ecker as a part of a bachelor thesis in the field of viniculture, enology and viticulture (University of Agricultural Sciences, Vienna):


According to B. Ecker, winemaker at the Wagram, the Roter Veltliner is a difficult variety because it is very labor intensive due to the strong growth and more leafs work has to be made. In addition, the variety climbs poorly and grows across rather than up, which means again more work. The Roter Veltliner matures late, the clusters are large and compact, therefore yields can be high . For all these reasons this variety, according to Ecker, has to be planted on lean soil, so the growth is slowed down a bit.

When Mr. Ecker has been asked why he cultivated this variety, despite some drawbacks, he replied: "Until the sixties the Roter Veltliner was the main sort on the Wagram, and I'm very traditional and I have a suitable location, so I see no reason why I should not cultivate this variety. In addition, it can be marketed well, because there are only a few winemakers who are cultivating and checking this variety and that make it so interesting for me! "

Ecker describes the flavor profile of the species Roter Veltliner in contrast to the Grüner Veltliner like this: "I think that the Roter Veltliner is more complex and in the extract richer than the Grüner Veltliner. Further I require harvesting the grapes always fully ripe. The higher acidity than those by Grüner Veltliner, I find personally very interesting, and besides you can store the wines of the Roter Veltliner really great. "

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