Grüner Veltliner 2019

Producer: Dr. Frank Winery
Region: New York
Appellation: Finger Lakes
Country: USA
Wine Type: White
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Alcohol: 12.5%
Residual Sugar: 5.9 g/L
Soil: Shale in Keuka Lake and silt loam in Seneca Lake
Farming Practices: Sustainable
Awards: 91-Decanter; 90-Wine Align
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Cellar Profile

Konstantin Frank arrived in New York from Ukraine in 1951. A PhD holder in viticulture and doctor of plant sciences, Frank was the first to experiment with vitis vinifera in the state, where plantings had been confined to vitis labrusca and Concord varieties. Situated at the heart of the Finger Lakes region, on the southwestern hills surrounding Keuka Lake, the winery has a collection of old vine plantings that few others in North America can rival. The work is done in the vineyard, with a very deft touch by the winery, focusing on food-worthy, lively wines of elegance and depth, wines that keep the palate fresh, inviting another sip. Grapes are sourced primarily from the original estate Keuka Lake vineyards, where shale soils provide minerality and acidity, but also from Seneca Lake vineyards, which are warmer, imparting more weight and upfront fruit.


The Finger Lakes region of New York State is an exciting, emerging area for cool climate wines of freshness and elegance. Despite its relative anonymity, it is a region that has been around for some time. Less than a 5 hour drive from both Toronto and New York City, this bucolic area is now home to over 160 wineries. Grapes here range from the obscure (Rkatsiteli) to the familiar (Riesling) and plenty in between. Regardless of the variety, the wines all exhibit Old World freshness, bright flavours and elegant structures that are perfect accompaniments to a wide variety of foods and festivities.


Sourced primarily from the original estate Keuka Lake vineyard (plantings in ’58, ’74, ’81 and ’86) with a smaller amount of fruit coming from the Seneca Lake site. The Keuka Lake shale-based soils provide minerality and acidity. The Seneca Lake vineyards, with their silty loam soils and warm mesoclimate, add warmth and upfront fruit flavours. The slate underlying it all provides for excellent drainage.


Grüner Veltliner is the signature grape of Austria and by far the nation’s most widely planted wine grape. Classic Grüner shows citrus aromas (lemon peel and grapefruit) complemented by stone fruit and fresh vegetal notes and the variety’s trademark hint of white pepper. It has become increasingly popular in the New World and New York state versions are similar stylistically to their Austrian counterparts, but frequently with even more intense aromatics.


Hand-harvested and destemmed, the grapes are fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel. There is some lees contact, in the Austrian style, that imparts complexity to the wine. Some limited bottle aging is required before release, as Grüner can often be hit with “bottle shock”.

Tasting Notes 

Varietally on point, this beautiful expression of “Gruvey” offers aromas of ripe pear, honeysuckle, white flowers and white pepper. On the palate, the pear comes through, with notes of nectarine and minerality. There’s a touch of leesiness to add complexity, leading to a crisp, acid-driven finish. Try this with roast chicken, pork hocks with Spätzle or alongside some mussels in white wine and garlic.