Are you looking for an adventure & finest Riesling and Grüner Veltliner wines? Then, knock the door of Austria ! Yesteryear, I was in Wachau where I fell in love with its nature and this harvest in Kamptal. One visit to Lower Austria will definitely enthral you with all its fascination.
Kamptal is one of the prestigious wine district in Lower Austria. It is located 55km (35 miles) northwest of Vienna.
Steep, sunexposed, sparsely soiled terraced vineyards look down on the river Kamp which gives its name to the valley, The Kamp River Valley-Kamptal. This is the 3rd largest region in Austria by number of vines.
- Jam-packed with vines
- Mountainous region
- Organic Growers
- Tradition & Modern
- Passionate Winemakers
- Tiny rows
- Hand harvest
- More labor and cost (no cheap wine)
- Important centre of Austria Wine Tourism
Wine Route Langenlois
Underground wine cellars (labyrinth)
Langenlois Riverside (Beach)
Think about this way : ” Densely packed with vines pay for the added cost of hand harvesting.”.
- Botrytis fungus also grows well in these vineyards (airflow is slow)
- No new oak, no lees stirring
Half of the production : Grüner Veltliner
30 % : Riesling
The Rest : Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, St. Laurent, Zweigelt
Riesling is grown on a severely steep site, a terraced slopes of the Heilingenstein (hell-like) vineyard and Gaisberg vineyard. One of the top best places to grow Riesling on earth. A refreshing acidity, fresh citrus and flowers, a potential to age for decades.
Grüner Veltliner is on all over the places, the best on the Lamm vineyard.
Kamptal have their own Quality System, Kamptal DAC, Districtus Austriae Controllatus. This wine law manifests where a wine can come from, the minimum alcohol, maximum yields, the grape varities and the style.
DAC Klassik : lighter, fruit-driven wines
DAC Reserve : a slightly weightier wine with a minimum alcohol 13 % and sometimes with a subtle influence of botrytis and some old oak. No outsider Riesling and Grüner.
” I have always liked fresh wines with a good acidity that pair well with food.”
Common idea amongst new generation in Austria
Until now, I have been involved in all facets of the wine industry including vineyard work, research, sensory analysis, vinification, wine analysis and marketing. However, still learning alot of things while working in different wineries…
So the first thing to contend with, whatever your grape or must chemistry, is the grape variety itself. This time I travelled to ferret out the beauty of Riesling, Grüner Veltliner & Zweigelt, Pinot Noir from Jurtschitsch Winery in Kamptal-Austria. Beside these varities they also have Blauburgunder, St. Laurent, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Weißburgunder, Muskateller, Johanniter.
I was curious about this winery, located in the heart of Langenlois. Otto, production assistant, greeted me on my first day. His first order of business was to recommend a spot in front of the winery so we could talk and get to know alittle about each other
as well as get some history on the cellar and vineyards of the winery.
What intrigued me most about this winery is that the grapes are gently vinified and matured in 700-years old wine cellar.
Hold on tight, enjoy the ride !
Alwin and Stefanie Jurtschitsch, chef&cheffin, give improtance to biological farming, health soil & minimal interventions in the cellar.
Jürgen, manager of the winery-team leader, orchestrates everything at the winery. He gave me a role in the red wine production. To me, it was a great chance to work together with him and winemaker Ewald. I cannot forget all help from Freddy, my geisenheimisch colleague, and from the Press Team, Igor, Nazım & Florjan. Of course Roland, great hungarian whom I always have respect for his advices.
The winery harvest team is made of Austrian, Hungarian, German, Katalan, French, Italian, Kosovan, Ukranian, Czeckish & Polish.
It has 4 levels. It means they benefit from gravity flow to keep aromas and flavours healthy-fresh.
Targets at the winery
- Hygiene & Sanitation
- Preservation of positive attributes in the fruit is essential in the winemaking process so as not to promote any bitterness in the finished wine.
” Quality in, quality out. You cannot make a silk purse out of a cow’s ear.”
As I stated previously on my other blogs there are several key contributors to how well a wine will age. The four contributors to wine balance : sugars, acids, tannins and alcohols. Beside, a healthy fermentation, an adequate presence of sulfur dioxide and management of oxygen exposure from start to finish are also of great significance. Finally, such incidentals as the closure and cellar conditions enter the movie. Since wines lacking balance collapse, you should begin your examination with the four pillars of balance. That is why everyday at the winery during the harvest there were tasting sessions.
I am always jealous of my colleagues who routinely work with naturally acidic grapes. This is either because of the grape variety (like Riesling or Pinot Noir), the climate for which they were grown (like Austria or Germany), or a combination of the two. If you go to a warm-hot climate country with a long, dry growing season in vintages (like south of California), these warmer climatic conditions results in a lower acidity in most grape varieties grown there.
What is your favourite grape for winemaking?
This harvest has gotten me thinking about one of my long-time favorites: Pinot Noir at Jurtschitsch Weingut has high acidity for a red grape. This provides the freshness , but also aging for decades. There are different single vineyards growing PN and each has different palate.
“Clear, ruby color with aromas of fresh red fruits (cranberries, cherries) and/or minerals depending on the vineyards. On the palate it is dry, with light body, fresh, crisp acidity, and soft structure.”
Zweigelt wines at JW is often rich with raspberry and cherry aromas, soft subtle tannins, moderate alcohol and a balanced acidity.
At the end of the harvest, there was an outstanding harvest party signed by Johannes Jurtschitsch. He has a great passion for winemaking, very talented person. You never get bored if JJ is around you. Follow him if you do an internship at Jurtschitsch.
- Be quick to buy Jurtschitsch wines because the wines are sold out quickly.
- While over there I hugely recommend you to visit Hirsch and Gobelsburg wineries
(Many thanks to Rebecca for the excellent Wine Tasting & Tour)
- Langenlois is a small touristic town. During the summer time there is open air cinema.
- In Langenlois, Milano Pizza is a life saving spot. The pizza maker and his wife are very polite, friendly and humorous.
- Krems is very close to Langenlois and always there are daily activities.