updated 5/5/2011 2:06:59 PM ET 2011-05-05T18:06:59

Vintners say a 500-year-old grapevine — an ancestor of one of the world's most popular whites — has survived vandalism and is sending out new shoots after being hacked into pieces two months ago.

The vine — a grape "great-grandparent" of the popular gruner veltliner — was found chopped down in February. Local vintners said it was unlikely to recover. But the website of state broadcaster ORF quoted them Thursday as saying the stem had recently begun to sprout new shoots.

Grapes in three years
Vintner Hans Moser says the vine could again bear grapes within three years.

After its discovery east of Vienna 11 years ago, experts surmised the vine had been crossed with the traminer grape centuries ago. That produced the first drops of the acidic and tangy gruner veltliner — the cult wine known as "gru-ve" in the United States.

Police still have not the found the vandal.

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