Grüner Veltliner, Austria’s flagship variety, is known in Hungary as Zöldveltelini. It’s the most common white variety in the Sopron region. Sopron lies just across the border from Austria and shares its viticultural traditions with Burgenland. Winemaking in the Sopron region goes back to the Celts. The Romans continued, and then the Bavarian settlers kept it up. The Steigler Winery is one of the region’s newer wineries, and it is producing some exciting (and delicious) organic wines. The winery is located in the center of Sopron, and has a fascinating hundreds of years old cellar system. Steigler’s vineyards cover 21 hectares, and are located in Sopron’s best areas, including the Steiger, Frettner, and Spern Steiner vineyards. Grapes for this wine come from five-year old vines from the Steiger vineyard, which has mica slate and brown forest soil. The region’s microclimate is heavily influenced by the saline Lake Fertő, which straddles the border of Hungary and Austria. The lake brings humidity, but breezes originating from the Alps provide a moderating effect. Both the winery owner (Bálint Lőrinczy) and the winemaker (Tamás Varga) have deep roots in the region. This wine is a bright straw color, with a lovely rich texture. It was fermented in 225-liter Zemplén oak barrels, and aged for eight months on fine lees, which gives it a creamy texture. On the nose it has some spiciness, pear, quince, dried grass, herbs, grapefruit, and lime. This is a fresh and full-bodied wine, with pure flavors, a bit of salty minerality, ripe pears, quince, and green apples. It has a nice long finish, with the minerality staying with you for a bit. This is a food-friendly wine, which goes great with the regional specialty, Wiener Schnitzel. It’s also great with other fried foods.