Wine: Toni Soellner
Region: Gösling, Wagram
Grapes: Grüner Veltliner
"You shall become who you are." Thank you Frederick Nietzsche. My young friend Zach had this quote tattooed inside a tombstone on his forearm, as you can clearly see here. "It's a joke," he said. It's all a little over my head, almost too simple to understand. We can only become who we are, yes? Can we become someone else? If we do become someone else, as when a person might say of a former friend, "I don't even know who she is anymore!" then certainly that "someone else" is now who we are. And then again, aren't we always becoming? In any case, I think it's important that we take stock of our position from time to time and make sure we are being the truest self we can be, who is the only who we can be anyway. With me?
Fortunately, we have delicious, fruity, honest white wines like Toni Söllner's grüner veltliner to mitigate any brain hurt associated with attempts at solving the big puzzle of being human. Toni and his wife Daniela have been farming their small estate by biodynamic practices since 1995 and ferment all their wines with native yeasts from the hillside vineyards. In true biodynamic fashion, legumes and wildflowers and herbs can be found growing among the vines. He makes about five different grüners plus a couple of roter veltliners (ancient variety, no relation to grüner), a red and a sparkling rosé, though I'm unsure if the latter two are available stateside. This cuvée, the T.O.N.I., would be the starter wine from the Söllner estate. The acronym stands for Tasty, Original, Natural, Individual. If that isn't everything...
The Toni Söllner Grüner Veltliner 2015 is bright and easy, much fruitier and slightly softer than many grüners can be, though the classic spice and white pepper notes are there, too. It's a great quaffer in this insanely miserable summer heat, and it'll go with light dishes and cold dishes and bathwater-warm swimming pools. Oh, the dream of a 70 degree stream...