Last week, a customer asked for the Grüner Veltliner Erste lage. This was the first time that I’ve heard of this term, and despite having it explained to me by my friends in the wine business, it still remained a puzzle waiting to be assembled. I was able to gather more information and thought it a good idea to share it with my readers. It will probably come in handy in the future.
It started with an association which was founded in 1992 by 23 members. The association of traditional vineyards of Austria’s goal was to achieve a vineyard classification in the Danube region. This was a process, since only good wines come from good vineyards. They had to monitor their wines for 20 years, before they could start with the classification process.
In 2010 the 23 members of this association combined their 52 vineyards which are located in Kremstal, Kamptal, Wagram, and Traisental, and therefore the first vintage to carry this label, which can only be used by members of this association. In 2012, there were already 62 vineyard sites that carried the label already.
It is believed that the members will look into recruiting other growers from this region to participate in the classification process. This means that the classification process can also be viewed as a ‘work in process’ which could go on for years if not decades.