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Lösskindel

Grüner Veltliner Info 6,50

Lösskindel

Grüner Veltliner
  • Vintage

    2020
  • Roots

    Kamptal DAC
  • Grape varieties

    Grüner Veltliner
  • Potential

    3 years
  • Bottle

    0,75 l

Wine

This wine is a perfect example of a typical Grüner Veltliner. It is named after a rock that is found in the rich Löss soils of our region called Lösskindel.

Vinification

Handpicked, fermentation at 19° C with selected yeast from the vineyard, 2 months lees contact

Vineyard

The soil is a result of the dry and cold climate of the Ice Age. Due to the effect of glaciers producing a high pressure on land, quartz, limestone, mica and clay particles were pulverised. These loess soils retain deep reservoirs of moisture and rarely suffer from dehydration. It is here were Grüner Veltliner, thrives. Wines with a harmonious combination of strength and elegance are the result.

Food pairing

Aperitif, classical Viennese kitchen, light salads, white meat, pasta
Recommended drinking temperature:  8 °C

6,50

Strass, Kamptal

Grüner Veltliner Info 8,00

Strass, Kamptal

Grüner Veltliner
  • Vintage

    2020
  • Roots

    Kamptal DAC
  • Grape varieties

    Grüner Veltliner
  • Potential

    5 years
  • Bottle

    0,75 l

Wine

Drinking pleasure and a brilliant price-quality ratio, that´s what our village appellation Grüner is all about. Short: the perfect companion for any meal any day!

Vinification

Handpicked, temperature controlled fermentation at 19° C with natural yeast, extended lees contact.

Vineyard

The Grüner Veltliner Strass reflects a cross selection of the major vineyard of our village. Here primarily slate, gravel and loess soil with some elements of lime stone produce a dignified Grüner Veltliner, who shows the great potential of its soils.

Food pairing

Classical viennese kitchen, like  roast pork and fried chicken.
Recommended drinking temperature: 8 °C

8,00

Ried Hasel, Kamptal

Grüner Veltliner Info 9,50

Ried Hasel, Kamptal

Grüner Veltliner
  • Vintage

    2020
  • Roots

    Kamptal DAC
  • Grape varieties

    Grüner Veltliner
  • Potential

    5+ years
  • Bottle

    0,75 l

Wine

Unbelievable drinking pleasure, fresh and subtle. That is how our Grüner Veltliner from the Ried Hasel pleasures Grüner Fans around the globe for more than 30 years.

Vinification

Handpicked, temperature controlled fermentation at 19° C with natural yeast, extended lees contact;

Vineyard

The soil is a result of the dry and cold climate of the Ice Age. Due to the effect of glaciers producing a high pressure on the land, quartz, limestone, mica and clay particles were pulverised. These loess soils retain deep reservoirs of moisture and rarely suffer from dehydration. The heart of this vineyard is the Mittelhasel, with a gentle incline towards the south; its where our vineyards are located. As this location has always produced above average quality, the wine growers of the past were known to say: “A vintner without any Hasel won’t get a wife”.

Food pairing

Roast beef, grilled chicken, salads with a herbal touch, mushrooms
Recommended drinking temerpature: 8–10 °C

9,50

Alte Reben, Kamptal

Grüner Veltliner Info 13,00

Alte Reben, Kamptal

Grüner Veltliner
  • Vintage

    2020
  • Roots

    Kamptal DAC
  • Grape varieties

    Grüner Veltliner
  • Potential

    10 years
  • Bottle

    0,75 l

Wine

Concentrated – characteristic – authentic. A brilliant Grüner Veltliner, which impresses with its mightiness and its power and a long finish. The wine has a great potential for storage!

Vinification

Handpicked, fermentation at 19° C with the natural yeast from the vineyard, extended lees contact.

Vineyard

A selection of vineyards with our oldest (30-60 years) vines. The soil is a result of the dry and cold climate of the Ice Age. Due to the effect of glaciers producing a high pressure on the land, quartz, limestone, mica and clay particles were pulverised. These loess soils retain deep reservoirs of moisture and rarely suffer from dehydration. It is here where concentrated – characteristic – authentic Grüner Veltliner thrives. Wines with a harmonious combination of strength, body, characteristic aromas and elegance are the result.

Food pairing

roast beef, roast venison, calf, lamb, light cheese, Asian food
Recommended drinking temperature: 10°C

13,00

Ried Rosengartl, Kamptal

Grüner Veltliner Info 17,50

Ried Rosengartl, Kamptal

Grüner Veltliner
  • Vintage

    2019
  • Roots

    Kamptal DAC
  • Grape varieties

    Grüner Veltliner
  • Potential

    10-20 years
  • Bottle

    0,75 l

Wine

The Rosengartl, an almost forgotten single vineyard in Strass with enormous potential, which we brought back to live in 2015. The old vineyards guarantee powerful Veltliners with enormous aging potential. Probably one of the best spots to grow Grüner Veltliner in the Kamptal.

Vinification

Handpicked, skin contact for 8hrs, temperature controlled fermentation with natural yeasts at 19-22°C, extended lees contact

Vineyard

The “Ried” ROSENGARTL comprises gentle, south-facing terraces at an elevation of 250-340 meters, that are protected to the northwest by the Wechselberg. The loess terraces are draped over the gneiss bedrock and marine sediments. Wines with a harmonious combination of strength, body, characteristic aromas and elegance are the result.

Food pairing

A classical all-rounder! Pairs well with meat, pasta & tasty see food.
Recommended drinking temperature: 10-12 °C

17,50

Ried Renner 1ÖTW, Kamptal

Grüner Veltliner Info 19,50

Ried Renner 1ÖTW, Kamptal

Grüner Veltliner
  • Vintage

    2018
  • Roots

    Kamptal DAC
  • Grape varieties

    Grüner Veltliner
  • Potential

    10–20 years
  • Bottle

    0,75 l

Wine

Renner is one of our top single vineyards. A weighty and expressive Grüner Veltliner that along with its enormous potential, features delicate finesse and great elegance. Outstanding wine with huge potential

Vinification

Several hours of skin maceration, temperature controlled fermentation at with natural yeast, lees contact for 8 months in big oak casks;

Vineyard

Ried Renner is situated at the western foot of the Kammerner Gaisberg site, separated from the Lamm vineyard by a ravine. The soil is calcareous and consists of loamy, sandy silt that was formed on loess, mixed with a bit of alluvial deposits on crystalline rock, such as gneiss, amphibolite and mica slate.

Food pairing

Veal, lamb, venison
Drinking temperature: 10–12 °C

19,50

Ried Gaisberg 1ÖTW, Kamptal

Grüner Veltliner Info 21,50

Ried Gaisberg 1ÖTW, Kamptal

Grüner Veltliner
  • Vintage

    2018
  • Roots

    Kamptal DAC
  • Grape varieties

    Grüner Veltliner
  • Potential

    10–20 years
  • Bottle

    0,75 l

Wine

GAISBERG is a classified 1ÖTW Erste Lage and probably the best spot for elegant and complex Grüner Veltliner in the Kamptal. Further it is one of our oldest vineyards.

Vinification

maceration on skins, controlled fermentation with natural yeast at 20°C, lees contact for 8 months in big oak casks

Vineyard

One of our oldest Veltliner vineyards which we also use for the selection of our young vines. This vineyard extends up to 330 meters above sea level, occupying a steep, east-facing slope that runs down towards the Straßertal valley, and a gentle decline towards the south. The soil in the upper part of the area has developed on paragneiss, mica schist, and amphibolite bedrock, while at the southern foot of the slope a soil rich in humus has developed on a thick layer of loess.

Food pairing

A true all-rounder. Great with spicy dishes as well as with fish and white meat, truffle pasta;
Recommended drinking temperature: 10°C

21,50

Drei Generationen

Grüner Veltliner Info 39,00

Drei Generationen

Grüner Veltliner
  • Vintage

    2017
  • Roots

    Kamptal
  • Grape varieties

    Grüner Veltliner
  • Potential

    20 years
  • Bottle

    0,75 l

Wine

3 Generations, grandfather, father & son have worked together to craft this exquisite full bodied Grüner Veltliner. This wine is naturally fermented, unfiltered, without fining and organically stabilized. Store cold and prevent light!

Vinification

Handpicked, natural fermentation in 330L barrels, extended lees contact for 24 months, unfined & unfiltered

Vineyard

One of our oldest Veltliner vineyards which we also use for the selection of our young vines. This vineyard extends up to 330 meters above sea level, occupying a steep, east-facing slope that runs down towards the Straßertal valley, and a gentle decline towards the south. The soil in the upper part of the area has developed on paragneiss, mica schist, and amphibolite bedrock, while at the southern foot of the slope a soil rich in humus has developed on a thick layer of loess.

Food pairing

Recommended drinking temperature: 12 °C

39,00

Strass, Kamptal

Riesling Info 11,00

Strass, Kamptal

Riesling
  • Vintage

    2020
  • Roots

    Kamptal DAC
  • Grape varieties

    Riesling
  • Potential

    5-10 years
  • Bottle

    0,75 l

Wine

This wine is the quintessence of a typical Riesling of the Kamptal. Its grapes come from the top sites Gaisberg and Heiligenstein. Minerality PUR!

Vinification

Handpicked, temperature controlled fermentation at 19° C with natural yeast, extended lees contact.

Vineyard

The Riesling Strass reflects a cross selection of the major vineyards of our village. With the grapes coming mainly from Gaisberg and Wechselberg the primary rock produces a dignified Riesling, who shows the great potential of its terroir.

Food pairing

Fish, chicken, white meat, Asian kitchen;
Recommended drinking temperature: 8 °C

11,00

Ried Gaisberg 1ÖTW, Kamptal

Riesling Info 23,00

Ried Gaisberg 1ÖTW, Kamptal

Riesling
  • Vintage

    2020
  • Roots

    Kamptal DAC
  • Grape varieties

    Riesling
  • Potential

    10–20 years
  • Bottle

    0,75 l

Wine

Schist and Gneiss! It is what gives distinction to GAISBERG and provides the 1er CRU vineyard with incomparable minerality. Year after year the site presents us with a complex Riesling with clear stone fruit aromas.

Vinification

Maceration on skins, controlled fermentation with natural yeast, lees contact for 5 months

Vineyard

The Zöbinger Gaisberg is the coolest part of the Gaisberg and is therefore an ideal place for elegant an minerality driven Rieslings. This southwest-facing vineyard is located in the southern foothills of the Manhartsberg mountain range. The soil consists mainly of non-calcareous, siliceous brown earth with a sandy, slightly silty consistency and a significant grit content. The bedrock is formed by mica schist and gneiss.

Food pairing

Asian cuisine, lobster, crab and fisch
Recommended drinking temperature: 10–12 °C

23,00

Ried Heiligenstein 1ÖTW, Kamptal

Riesling Info 29,00

Ried Heiligenstein 1ÖTW, Kamptal

Riesling
  • Vintage

    2019
  • Roots

    Kamptal DAC
  • Grape varieties

    Riesling
  • Potential

    15–20 years
  • Bottle

    0,75 l

Wine

This wine belongs to the greatest of our estate. The HEILIGENSTEIN is the most famous site of the Kamptal if not of whole Austria. On 12 natural stone terraces this outstanding Riesling with enormous aging potential grows.

Vinification

maceration on skins, controlled fermentation with natural yeast, lees contact for 5 months.

Vineyard

The terraced south and southwest facing slope has a unique geological history that has been preserved in this particular area. The outcropping bedrock consists of a reddish-brown sandstone with a high feldspar content, coarse conglomerates, and minor siltsone. These sediments formed approximately 250-280 million years ago under arid conditions, in lakes, ponds, and ephemeral rivers. The rocks contain fossilized plants and gravels with clasts of volcanic rhyolites. Loess is only preserved in a few locations, within shallow depressions.

Food pairing

Asian cuisine, lobster, crab, lamb.
Recommended drinking temperature: 10°C

29,00

Wechselberg

Chardonnay Info 15,50

Wechselberg

Chardonnay
  • Vintage

    2019
  • Roots

    Niederösterreich
  • Grape varieties

    Chardonnay
  • Potential

    10 years
  • Bottle

    0,75 l

Wine

A brilliant Burgundy wine, which impresses with its mightiness, power and the long finish. Elegant Minerality! The wine has a great potential for storage.

Vinification

Controlled fermentation with natural yeast,  maturation in stainless steel and oak barrels;

Vineyard

The mighty Wechselberg rises on the easterly border of the Strasser valley and looks towards the south. The soils are slate, left over from the crystalline of the Bohemian Massif. Thanks to the layout of this location, it receives intensive sunshine all day long. The altitude of the Wechselberg creates a special microclimate, where a gentle breeze cools down the hot summer air in the evening. This temperature variation ensures excellent flavours in the grapes.

Food pairing

Solid meals, pasta, pizza, mushrooms.
Recommended drinking temperature: 8–10 °C

15,50

Papageno

Weissburgunder Info 12,50

Papageno

Weissburgunder
  • Vintage

    2020
  • Roots

    Niederösterreich
  • Grape varieties

    Weissburgunder
  • Potential

    5–10 years
  • Bottle

    0,75 l

Wine

The Papageno represents the freshest and lightest wine out of our burgundy family. It has a great fruit complexity supported by its lively acidity.

Vinification

Handpaicked, Temperature controlled fermentation, lees contact for 3 months

Vineyard

The soil is a result of the dry and cold climate of the Ice Age. Due to the effect of glaciers producing a high pressure on the land, quartz, limestone, mica and clay particles were pulverised. These loess soils retain deep reservoirs of moisture and rarely suffer from dehydration. Wines with a harmonious combination of strength, body, characteristic aromas and elegance are the result.

Food pairing

Asparagus, veal, roast beef, lamb
Recommended drinking temperature: 8–10 °C

12,50

Reserve

Grauburgunder Info 24,00

Reserve

Grauburgunder
  • Vintage

    2019
  • Roots

    Niederösterreich
  • Grape varieties

    Grauburgunder
  • Potential

    15 years
  • Bottle

    0,75 l

Wine

A perfect harmony between tannins and elegance. The oak is well integrated and provides the wine with great aging potential.

Vinification

Skin contact for several hours, spontaneous fermentation in 300L barrels, 6 months on gross lees, 6 months on the fine lees after malolactic fermentation;

Vineyard

The vineyard Hasel is one of the biggest with 120 hectares. We are cultivating 6 ha in the heart of the site. It gently declines towards the south. The soil rich in humus has developed on a thick layer of loess and shows a rather high amount of chalk.

The vineyard Gautscher with his 360 meter is one of the highest spots for winemaking in Strass. With its reddish and irony remainings of the prehistoric see it represents a very interesting spot to grow wine. Very rich in minerals it is the perfect spot to make minerality driven and spicy wines from.

Food pairing

Pairs nicely with chees; mushrooms, truffles, Lamb and beef
Recommended drinking temperature: 12 °C

24,00

Jugend

Gelber Muskateller Info 16,00

Jugend

Gelber Muskateller
  • Vintage

    2017
  • Roots

    Niederösterreich
  • Grape varieties

    Gelber Muskateller
  • Potential

    5 years
  • Bottle

    0,75 l

Wine

An elegant and very distinct type of Gelber Muskateller with a very clear fruit. One of the specialities of our estate.

Vinification

Handpicked, fermentation on the skin for 1 week; ageing on the lees in used oak barrels;

Vineyard

On the eastern border of the Straßertal valley the Wechselberg rises towards the south. The soils are slate, left over from the crystalline of the Bohemian Massif. Due to this exposure the site receives extensive sunshine throughout the day. The altitude of the Wechselberg creates a special microclimate, where a gentle breeze cools down the hot summer air in the evening. This temperature variation ensures an excellent development of flavours within the grapes.

Food pairing

Aperitif wine , spicy Asian food;
Recommended drinking temperature: 8 °C

16,00

Steinterrassen

Gelber Muskateller Info 9,50

Out of stock

Steinterrassen

Gelber Muskateller
  • Vintage

    2020
  • Roots

    Niederösterreich
  • Grape varieties

    Gelber Muskateller
  • Potential

    5 years
  • Bottle

    0,75 l

Wine

An elegant and very distinct type of Gelber Muskateller with a very clear fruit. One of the specialities of our estate.

Vinification

Handpicked, 14 hours of skin contact in the press, temperature controlled fermentation; ageing on the lees,

Vineyard

On the eastern border of the Straßertal valley the Wechselberg rises towards the south. The soils are slate, left over from the crystalline of the Bohemian Massif. Due to this exposure the site receives extensive sunshine throughout the day. The altitude of the Wechselberg creates a special microclimate, where a gentle breeze cools down the hot summer air in the evening. This temperature variation ensures an excellent development of flavours within the grapes.

Food pairing

Aperitif wine , spicy Asian food;
Recommended drinking temperature: 8 °C

9,50

Out of stock

Rose

Blauer Zweigelt Info 6,50

Rose

Blauer Zweigelt
  • Vintage

    2020
  • Roots

    Niederösterreich
  • Grape varieties

    Blauer Zweigelt
  • Potential

    3 years
  • Bottle

    0,75 l

Wine

It represents an excellent aperitif or a fine wine for summer. On the nose like a fresh white wine but on the palate very smooth. Soft tannins

Vinification

3 hours of cold soaking in the press, temperature controlled fermentation at 18°C;

Vineyard

The grapes for the Rosé come from the vineyards Hasel and Wechselberg. In the Hasel the soil consists of Loess, whereas on the Wechselberg a more rocky and dry type of soil is persistent. Both vineyards from where we get the grapes are south-facing and therefore receive optimal sunshine hours. Both the grapes from Hasel as well as from the Wechselberg vineyard stitch through great development of flavours in the grape.

Food pairing

Easy and light cooking, delicate fish, marinated sea food;

Recommended drinking temperature: 8°C

6,50

Tradition

Blauer Zweigelt Info 8,50

Tradition

Blauer Zweigelt
  • Vintage

    2019
  • Roots

    Kamptal DAC
  • Grape varieties

    Blauer Zweigelt
  • Potential

    5 years
  • Bottle

    0,75 l

Wine

Zweigelt impresses with its fruitiness of soft cherry flavor and by its dark ruby colour. This wine is very soft and ready for serving already in younger days. It is the typical example of Zweigelt

Vinification

Open top fermentation, punched down by hand several times a day up to 3 weeks, after that pressed with a pneumatic press;

Vineyard

Over the last several decades, the Zweigelt grape has developed a strong identity in Austria and especially in the Danube region where the hometown (Langenlois) of its creator Dr. Zweigelt is. The Zweigelt vineyards in Strass are found on banks of crushed gravelly stones that were formed during the last Ice Age. This wine exudes a shiny ruby ​​red color with a light violet tone. On the nose is fruitiness with hints of cherries along with spicy nuances.

Food pairing

The full body with delicate notes make this wine an all-around food companion.
Empfohlene Trinktemperatur: 16–18 °C

8,50

Reserve

St. Laurent Info 17,00

Reserve

St. Laurent
  • Vintage

    2017
  • Roots

    Niederösterreich
  • Grape varieties

    St. Laurent
  • Potential

    15 years
  • Bottle

    0,75 l

Wine

St. Laurent belongs to the oldest varietis of the winery. A part of the vineyards dates back to the 50s.

Vinification

Cold soak, open top fermentation, manual punch downs, malolactic fermentation and aging in 228L barrels for 2 years.

Vineyard

One of our oldest vineyards. It extends up to 330 meters above sea level, occupying a steep, east-facing slope that runs down towards the Straßertal valley, and a gentle decline towards the south. The soil in the upper part of the area has developed on paragneiss, mica schist, and amphibolite bedrock, while at the southern foot of the slope a soil rich in humus has developed on a thick layer of loess. It´s here were some of the best red wines of the Kamptal thrive.

Food pairing

Great with pasta & venison.
recommended drinking temperature: 16-18 °C

17,00

Erste Lagen Collection

Packages Info 135,50 121,95

Erste Lagen Collection

Packages
  • Vintage

    2019
  • Roots

    Kamptal DAC
  • Grape varieties

    Packages
  • Potential

    diverse
  • Bottle

    6 x 0,75 l

Wine

Our Ersten Lagen wines demonstrate the full potential of the region. They represent the most significant vineyard sites of the Kamptal and are classified as 1ÖTW Erste Lagen.

Package includes the following wines (0,75 l)

 

2 x Grüner Veltliner
Ried Renner 1.ÖTW 2019

1 x Grüner Veltliner
Ried Gaisberg 1.ÖTW 2019

2 x Riesling
Ried Gaisberg 1.ÖTW 2019

1 x Riesling
Ried Heiligenstein 1.ÖTW 2019

135,50

Strass Collection

Packages Info 79,00 71,10

Strass Collection

Packages
  • Vintage

    2019
  • Roots

    Kamptal DAC
  • Grape varieties

    Packages
  • Potential

  • Bottle

    6 x 0,75 l

Wine

Als kleines Seitental, das sich zwischen Gais- und Wechselberg öffnet, gibt das Straßertal das geologische und kleinklimatische Spektrum der Region verstärkt wieder. All das macht es zu einer der spannendsten Appelationen im Kamptal. Diese Weine sind Ausdruck des Strassertals und unserer Philosophie.

Package includes the following wines (0,75 l)

 

1 x Grüner Veltliner
Strass 2020

1 x Grüner Veltliner
Strasser Ried Hasel 2020

1 x Riesling
Strass 2020

1 x Grüner Veltliner
Strasser Ried Gaisberg 1.ÖTW 2019

1 x Weißburgunder
Papageno 2020

1 x  Chardonnay
Strasser Wechselberg 2020

79,00
Subtotal: 0,00
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Vintages

  • 2020
  • 2019
  • 2018
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010

A challenging yet rewarding year

The legend of the "niner" lives on

Taking the heat

ugly weather, lovely wines

A YEAR OF REJOICING FOR WINELOVERS

Worth the struggle

Austrian wine exactly how we want it!

Low quantity - high quality

hot & dry

A happy ending with a small quantity

2020 will be remembered as a growing season of opposites, in which rain followed sun and cold followed warmth. Combined with the specific features of the regions, this called for a great deal of intuition and patience from winegrowers. And they have been rewarded – we can expect some invigoratingly fresh whites, finely balanced reds and some sweet rarities.

The lucky number for the world of Austrian wine seems to be the 9, since when the year ends with this numeral – like 1999 and 2009 (‘the Niners’) – the vintage often turns out to be particularly fine. This legendary series continues in 2019: despite heat and drought, the white wines are vivaciously fresh and the reds show excellent depth. And at 2.3 million hectolitres production, 2019 is in line with the long-term average in terms of volume.

UNSTABLE WEATHER IN SPRINGTIME, HOT SUMMER & MILD AUTUMN
The warm winter of 2019, with its meagre precipitation – not much of a winter at all, actually – was followed by an inconsistent spring: April was again very warm, while the coldest May since 1991 brought a great deal of rain and retarded the development of the vines; fortunately there were no late frosts anywhere to damage the prospects. In retrospect, this wet period figured undoubtedly as a stroke of luck because it made a decisive contribution to ensuring that the vines and clusters survived the torrid summer months unscathed. Ultimately, it also contributed to a noticeably different sort of aromaticity than in the previous vegetation cycle, in which this ‘water reservoir’ was not available. The vines blossomed at a normal time and under favourable weather conditions, so that any losses due to coulure fell within narrow limits.

Summer got under way with the warmest and driest June since temperatures began to be recorded, and continued with a July and an August that were almost as hot, although the heat waves were not as extreme as in 2017 and 2018. Thankfully, there was no hail damage.

With the end of August a cooler period began, which above all brought with it pleasantly mild nocturnal temperatures, which also exerted positive effects on the fruit aromas and acidic structure of the wines. Autumn continued very mild and consistent, so that the primary harvest could be conducted according to plan and in an unhurried fashion, especially since there was no more significant rainfall. The grape material achieved full ripeness in all winegrowing regions and displayed the picture of perfect health, since hardly any fungal infections or development of rot had occurred, thanks to the summer’s high temperatures.

The earliest wine harvest of modern Austrian viticulture surpassed the volume of the previous, above-average vintage 2017, at 2.75 million hectolitres. Once again, wines of very good to excellent quality are anticipated.

A VEGETATION CYCLE RIFE WITH CHALLENGES
Following a warm January, February and March were very cool, resulting in vines budding late. One positive effect of this is the fortunate fact that late frosts, like those which have occurred in the previous two years, did not threaten the vineyards in 2018. The second-warmest spring since the beginning of recorded weather led to a conspicuously early flowering in mid- to late May, an early advance in the vegetation cycle that then persisted throughout the hot summer. Apart from a few showers in June and thunderstorms in mid-July, summer also remained very dry. These combined factors of aridity and heat led to a considerable element of stress, especially upon terraced vineyards and recently planted parcels that could not be irrigated.

The consistently hot and dry weather led to the earliest harvest in memory: in Burgenland, for example, the first Qualitätswein (quality wine) was submitted for a federal inspection number on the 2nd of August. Right at the beginning of meteorological autumn, numerous Austrian winegrowing areas experienced relatively voluminous rainfall, which caused growers great concern, especially along the Danube and in the Steiermark (Styria). Fortunately, most of the rest of September and October was mild and sunny, so that the harvest could proceed in good order. Some winegrowers chose to start picking very early, given the temperatures and the September rains mentioned above, while other producers waited still, and preferred to harvest their vineyards later. In both cases, however, in spots where botrytis had appeared early, meticulous selection became necessary, which led to significant losses of volume in many Riesling vineyards in Niederösterreich (Lower Austria).

Imagine the vegetation cycle and vintage as a roller coaster ride: this is precisely the memory that Austrian winegrowers and friends of Austrian wine will cherish of 2016. But all said and done, there is good to magnificent quality in white, red & sweet wines – in some cases with severely limited quantities.

Following a warm and dry winter, vines in many winegrowing regions went into budding rather early. A massive cold snap in the last week of April led to horrible frost damage, and because of the unusual large-scale weather pattern, even higher-elevation vineyards were affected. Particularly hard-hit were the entire Steiermark, the growing districts Neusiedlersee and Eisenberg in Burgenland as well as Carnuntum, the Thermenregion and the westernmost section of the Wachau near Spitz in Niederösterreich. By contrast, there was hardly any frost damage reported in Wien/Vienna or for the other regions of Niederösterreich, where above-average harvests helped to raise the median volume for Austria as a whole.

After a relatively moist spring, summer 2016 also featured a great deal of precipitation, but no protracted heat waves. Many rainy days brought considerable danger from malign infestations, as well as peronospora and oidium. In the last week of August things changed for the better, and a period of sunny and stable weather set in, which essentially held up all through the primary harvest. Even if there was a bit of botrytis here and there, the time of the harvest could be deliberately fixed in most cases.

Austrian winegrowers and devotées of their wines can find plenty to be glad about in the 2015 vintage. Wines already tasted are impressive for their deep and ripe fruit, complex aromatics and sense of equilibrium, while wines still maturing in the cellars nurture expectations of top class and great potential. Winegrowing regions endured significant hail damage only in very isolated instances. The 2015 vintage leaves no doubt: very promising!

VINEYARD WEATHER OVER THE COURSE OF THE YEAR
After a period of fair weather in springtime and good conditions during blossoming, an uncommonly hot and dry summer set in. As we all know, one heat wave followed on the heels of the latest... In some places the vegetation process came to a standstill, especially affecting younger vines that could not be irrigated, which suffered from stress. Fortunately, in most growing regions the rains arrived toward the middle of August – just in the nick of time.

Then came a marvellous, even-tempered autumn; numerous sunny days, but with relatively cool nights – this is one basic difference between 2015 and years like 2011 and 2006. The rains arrived punctually this year in September as well and then came again in the middle of October; except for this last, somewhat humid period, the beautiful autumn weather held well into November. So in general, grapes could be harvested at the ideal point in time without hurry or stress, since afflictions from parasites and fungi occurred very seldom – even noble rot developed only in infrequent instances.

The difficult weather conditions during the Summer and Autumn of 2014 were no secret. And they certainly left Austrian winemakers with their hands full as they did everything they could to pick healthy, ripe grapes in the vineyards. Ultimately, after loads of extra effort and much added expense, pleasurable, lean wines were finally achieved – but only through a small harvest, which, at approximately two million hectoliters, is again well below the long-term average.

After a very mild Winter and a dry, beautiful beginning of Spring, an exceedingly cool, wet month of May served as a first warning. There was favourable weather during the flowering period, however, after a brief heat wave, the wet conditions returned and lasted more or less throughout the entire Summer. August in particular was extremely cloudy and lacking in sunshine, although there were still some signs of a good vintage ahead. The final confirmation of a difficult vintage, however, was a very wet September. Only in October did the tide turn just a bit for the better.

At close to 2.4 million hectolitres, the total volume of the current Austrian vintage is just under the 5-year average, even though the main variety, Grüner Veltliner, had suffered from coulure damage due to bad weather during the flowering period.

Despite the challenging weather conditions, all of the wine regions – through fine-tuned vineyard management and carefully selected harvest dates – have delivered very high-quality white wines. Also Austrian red wines have exceeded initial expectations, yielding more than satisfying results.

COLD AND WARM; WET AND DRY
While not extreme, the Winter was colder than usual and, with high amounts of snow as well as sufficient rain, bestowed plenty of moisture to the soils – which ultimately turned out to be a blessing. The low temperatures in March and April resulted in a significant bud break delay and flowering that was even later than in the two previous years. In June, the wet, cold weather was followed by a first heat wave that strongly impaired pollination of the main variety, Grüner Veltliner. But these coulure damages differed significantly from region to region. For example, losses were notable in western Wachau, big areas of the Kremstal and Kamptal and, especially in northern Weinviertel and Wien (Vienna), yet in the Wagram, they were sporadic.

Immediately after immense floodings that occurred in June, extreme summer heat set in, bringing with it a series of never ending hot days through July and August. This made the Summer of 2013 one of the five hottest in 100 years. In fact, August's drought-like conditions brought the vegetation process nearly to a halt; young vineyards in particular were affected. Fortunately - as mentioned before - the soils were very moist. Additionally, as September came, so did some rain.
Conditions in September and October were very balanced, though night temperatures were somehow cooler than in previous years. The grapes ripened on a steady, continuous basis, and the desired sugar gradations were achieved gradually. As the occurrence of botrytis was low, nearly all harvested grapes were healthy.

For the sweet wine segment, it was a matter of wait and see. Ice wines were able to be made, but from grapes that could be harvested only during a brief period in December. The overall sweet wine harvest was, in terms of quantity, very low.

With all of the figures in, the total volume of Austria's 2012 wine vintage is 2,154,800 hectoliters, which is well below the long term average.

This is due mainly to last May's late frost – an unusual event that brought heavy losses, especially in Niederösterreich (Lower Austria). But because overall weather conditions during the year were quite favourable, the quality of the wine is very high, and this for all regions and grape varieties. The beautiful dry weather at the end of the vegetation period and during the main harvest season ensured the gathering of perfect, healthy and ripe grapes, both white and red.

DRAMATIC PRELUDE
A calm, warm beginning of Spring led to an early bud break. But then a very rare natural phenomenon took place during the night hours of May 17th -18th: a frost made its way down from the north and over the wine regions in Niederösterreich; heavy damages occurred in the Pulkautal (Weinviertel) as well as in parts of the Kamptal and Kremstal regions. Ultimately, this lead to significant harvest losses. Spring continued, however, with very quiet and sunny conditions, and the first peak temperatures - up to 38 degrees C - were reached during the last week of June.
In July, there was a cool period lasting for around ten days, and it contributed in part to a surprisingly high amount of rainfall. This phase was extremely positive because, as the weather soon turned for the better and then climaxed with a very hot and dry August, there was ample water storage in the soil for the thirsty vines. The dry conditions continued until the end of the main harvest in mid-October. This was replaced by a sudden onslaught of cold temperatures that lasted until the end of the month, but at that point, most of the harvest already had been completed.

After a short dry spell due to the rather low quantities of recent vintages the Austrian vintage 2011 presents itself with elegantly balanced white wines and reds from perfectly ripened grapes.

With the pickings for the last ice wines at the beginning of February 2012, the harvest of 2011, which finally replenished empty Austrian cellars with a yield of more than 2.8 million hectolitres, was brought to an end.

The wine year 2011 started with a relatively harsh winter causing also frost damage here and there, leading to crop losses in the affected regions such as for example the Weinviertel. Then, however, spring came, punctually and all-out. The above-average warm and sunny period lasted until early flowering, which proceeded under optimal conditions. One small drop of bitterness was the slight frost damage caused by a cool week at the beginning of May.

In the second half of June the general weather situation changed and an utmost instable and humid phase, lasting throughout July (much to tourists’ regret) followed. Just when fears for the grapes' vegetative development were raised, a sunny and warm August, largely without longer heat periods, turned tides. Anyhow, painstaking work in the vineyards proved to be essential in order to prevent sunburn of the ripening berries. For terraced vineyards with poor soils irrigation was a blessing

The most important time slot before the main harvest was characterised by a wonderfully warm Indian Summer, going on without any precipitation until October 8th. By this time harvest was already almost fully completed in the Burgenland. These very pleasant conditions were also given for the rest of October. Austrian winemakers slightly feared drought stress which the vines were partly exposed to. The situation was aggravated by extraordinarily high temperatures at night, which led to a relatively quick reduction of acidity. The main harvest could be scheduled very well, since at the beginning the cooler morning hours could be made use of in order not to bring in too heated crop.

The harsh Winter of 2009 was met by the pleasant arrival of Spring in 2010. However, cold, wet periods soon followed, and 2010 saw significant rainfall and a lack of sunshine overall.

Depending on the grape variety and wine-growing area, the flowering period occurred during weather conditions that were sometimes - and sometimes not – favourable, and had a direct effect on the yields. The occurrence of couloure at this point was a key factor in the vines bearing fewer bunches as well as each bunch yielding a smaller amount of grapes. This led ultimately to the lowest grape harvest in 25 years.
With only 1.7 million hectoliters, the total harvest quantity in 2010 did not even meet the annual domestic consumption average - approximately 2.5 million hectoliters. Although not every grape variety suffered yield loss, Austria's leading white variety, Grüner Veltliner, was considerably affected. Also other varieties such as Chardonnay, Traminer and St. Laurent yielded lower quantities. But again, the different wine-growing areas must be considered: in Steiermark (Styria), for example, harvest totals were down by only around 12%, while other areas had 40% losses because of bad weather conditions.

NO DISADVANTAGES WITHOUT ADVANTAGES
After the rather unsteady flowering period, there was a deceptive stretch of heat in July. But this was all too quickly replaced by a cool, rainy August and a September that showed few signs of Indian Summer. In October, there were several “windows” of dryness that allowed, at carefully chosen harvest times, grapes to be brought into the cellars dry, healthy and ripe. Especially treasured were the undamaged grapes set loosely on their bunches: this deterred the development of Botrytis, and the growers could breathe easier until harvest time. Also, cool temperatures - especially during the nights – made an essential contribution to the rare “wet year but healthy grapes” phenomenon.

Winemakers with strong nerves were rewarded for their patience because extract, content and fruit nuances increased week by week into the later harvest period. And good results have been achieved. With more than enough sugar-free extract, the white wines are presenting themselves as fruit-accented and with acidity that is racy, but not aggressive. Varietal character and expression are clear and Botrytis, if any, remains – with a few exceptions - in the background. Overall, this kind of white wine vintage is defined by fresh, sleek-style wines – in other words, again a genuine “Austrian” vintage! Thanks to the right amount of patience as well as the acceptance of lower grape quantities, full-bodied wines with 13% or more alcohol, plenty of depth and dense structure were achieved, but in volumes lower than in previous years, of course.

SUCCESS THROUGH FRIENDSHIP

„When my grandfather was young he drove from one restaurant to the next and visited all distributors regularly. Not much has changed since then. Until today, our partnerships are based on personal contacts. We have built partnerships all over the world; some partnerships have even evolved into friendships.

LORENZ HAAS-ALLRAM

 

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