I visited Water Fire – about midway between Traverse City and Petoskey – about 2 weeks ago. It’s a new vineyard, specializing in whites, and I was especially interested in this wine. Gruner Veltliner is the definitive Austrian white grape; it makes a crisp, bracing white wine, but it’s not Pinot Grigio and it’s not dry Riesling. There are a couple of retailers in the Ann Arbor area that carry Water Fire’s wines, so I’ll be hunting some of this down soon on a weekend grocery run.
As far as I can tell, they should qualify for the new “Tip of the Mitt” AVA, but this wine predates the 2016 designation of that appellation. In my opinion, the wineries of northern Michigan should be planting a lot more Austrian grapes, as the climate, geography, and soil are a pretty good match to the wine regions of Austria – especially the lake influence.
Water Fire Gruner Veltliner (2012) Michigan – $22
Color: medium golden-yellow.
Aroma: lemon curd, minerality, hint of floral notes.
Taste: brisk, racing acidity up front, then softer in the mid-palate. Citrus notes dominate throughout, with minerality underneath, and some peppery, herbal notes on the finish.
Very nice – I had this at dinner with a light meal of roasted golden beets and goat cheese, and it was a an excellent pairing. Gruner Veltliner from Austria doesn’t come any less expensive than this does, and it’s true to the grape. Recommended!