The significance of the vineyard.
We know our vineyard sites and their peculiarities all too well. There is an age-old wisdom amongst vintners that there are some vineyards which yield exceptional wines year after year. The knowledge of these outstanding pieces of land has been passed on and deepened over countless generations. The vineyard classification that is currently carried out is the logical consequence of our centuries old wine-history. Together with nine like-minded colleagues from the region, we are the proud founders of the association Österreichische Traditionsweingüter (Traditional Austrian Wineries), established in 1992. Our declared goal is to classify the historical and most significant Crus in the Danube region. A huge project! Today we count 77 members and have been working on this task for 30 years.
Find out more: www.traditionsweingueter.at
The Thal vineyard holds a significant place in our hearts as it represents our ancient family heritage. Some parcels have been in family hands since the foundation of our estate. It was on this very land where our ancestors began cultivating vines in 1856.
The striking and gently sloping hillside is located just south of the estate and formed from a powerful rise of loess, that has been terraced by previous generations. The vines grow on a soil composition of calcareous loess intermixed with quartz-sand, creating a bright and cool vineyard soil. In 1936 Ludwig I. planted one of the earliest single-varietal Grüner Veltliner vineyards in Thal. These 80-year-old vines date back to a time, when yield was not the prime concern of vintners: narrow-shouldered grapes, rather loose-berried, with a distinct herbal and very 'down-to-earth' taste. Today, we continue the tradition of carefully selecting and cultivating these ancient and authentic vine genetics, ensuring their enduring presence in our wines.
|Vine age||15-80 years|
|Altitude||230 - 280 m|
|Gradient||up to 23°|
|Orientation||S - SSW|
Kittmannsberg is one of the highest elevated vineyard sites in Kamptal, situated just west of Langenlois. Its name was first recorded as 'Chotmannsperig' in 1353, likely derived from the vineyard's original owner. This site unfolds like an ancient amphitheater, facing southeast and welcoming the early morning sun. The distinctive bowl-shaped topography creates an exceptional microclimate that promotes extended ripening periods. The majority of the terraces we cultivate lie in the upper part of the site, reaching heights of up to 365 meters above sea level. The soils here consist of calcareous clays and loess-loam, remnants of a bygone sea. Grüner Veltliners from this terroir possess a generous extract, often revealing a ripe yellow fruit character alongside a spicy and velvety minerality.
|Vine age||30-50 years|
|Soil||Loess-loam, calcareous clays|
|Gradient||up to 17°|
Vines have been cultivated on the Schenkenbichl vineyard for many centuries. This slope is located just north of the town of Langenlois. The name has remained unchanged since its first written record in 1402 and likely originated from an old wine tavern (Schenke) situated at the foot of the hill (Bühel). Despite the intense sunlight, the west wind exposure helps maintain a relatively cool temperature on the south-facing slope. The vineyard is characterized by both small and large terraces, with our vineyards situated at the upper limit, approximately 315 meters above sea level. Here, our Veltliner vines thrive on metamorphic rock, predominantly dark amphibolite. The amphibolite bedrock is covered by a cambisol formed from mica-rich silicates. The rocky subsoil manifests itself in the form of deep, subtle fruit and a smoky salinity, which makes the Veltliner growing here unmistakable.
As you descend towards the lower end of the slope, approaching the town of Langenlois, you'll find an increasing presence of loess interspersed with numerous rocks. The bottom of the slope is home to the oldest Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc) vines in the Danube area, planted by Dr. Bruno Hiedler in 1955. Here, we encounter the geological remnants of the old Loisbachtal (Lois Creek Valley). The gnarly vines root on gravel with calcareous loess running through it.
|Vine age||20-60 years|
|Soil||Amphibolite, Gneiss, Loess|
|Gradient||up to 29°|
With its unique geology and elevated position, the Langenloiser Käferberg stands out as one of the most remarkable vineyards in the Kamptal region. It is believed that the name of the site, first mentioned as "Cheuerperg" in 1317, refers to a previous owner. When viewed from the east, the ridge resembles the shape of a beetle's shield ("Käfer" in German), which could provide another explanation for its name.
The terraces and gardens are situated between 310 and 365 meters above sea level, facing south and southeast. The soil composition of Käferberg sets it apart from all other sites in Langenlois. Within a small area, one can find fragments of crystalline rocks such as amphibolites, gneisses, and mica slate, alternating with clayey sea sediments (clay marl) and rare gravels that were deposited in the ancient Paratethys Sea millions of years ago. They are stacked on top of sands or solid rocks of the Bohemian geological formation. Our vines thrive at an elevation of around 340 meters, specifically on two terraces on the southeastern slope of the site. Over the course of millennia, some loess has also been deposited here, enriching the soil with its calcareous elements. The small-sized grapes of the vines planted in the 1940s reach an exceptional density and concentration on this terroir. Thanks to the altitude, even in warm vintages and when harvested late, we can harvest grapes with good acidity. This results in a distinct salty-mineral freshness that creates a captivating and dynamic contrast in the wines of Käferberg.
|Vine age||25-85 years|
|Soil||Crystalline, Clay marl, Loess|
|Gradient||up to 19°|
The steepest slope in Langenlois has been documented since 1394. The name "Steinhaus" (literally Stonehouse) is likely derived from the small stone huts that once served as shelters and whose remains can still be found scattered throughout the vineyards today. These huts were constructed using the rocks obtained from forming terraces. The slope is characterized by these small and partly narrow terraces. Gneisses and dark amphibolites, with veins of quartz and feldspar, form the base for the vines. Due to the steepness, the fertile topsoil is only a few centimeters thick. The vines must extend their roots deep into the ground and push through all the little cracks of the weathering bedrock to access the underlying water veins. During the day, the sun heats up the rugged and rocky terrain, creating a warm-cold contrast between the ground and the air temperatures in the early hours of the night. This microclimate, combined with the meager rocky soil, imparts great tension to the Riesling that grows on this slope.
|Vine age||20-45 years|
|Soil||Gneiss, Amphibolite, Quartz|
|Gradient||up to 29°|
A first written record of the site can be found as early as 1341 under the name 'Gaizperch'. Perhaps the ancient terraces were also grazed by goats (Geissen) centuries ago, but today that is only an assumption. As the Pannonian warmth from the southeast Danube plain moves upstream, it touches this exposed vineyard in the early morning hours. This creates a slightly milder microclimate, causing the grapes to reach ripeness slightly earlier, thus making the Gaisberg one of the most historically important vineyards in the Kamptal region. The vineyard extends up to 335 meters above sea level, occupying a steep slope that descends towards the village of Strass in the east and gently slopes towards the southern village of Kammern. The soil is highly heterogeneous and contains a large variety of crystalline and metamorphic rocks. We cultivate two terraces here: one in the upper third of the slope, where our vines dig their roots into a rocky soil mainly composed of paragneiss. Marble, granite, and amphibolite lenses can also be found in some places. Another small parcel (20% of our land) is located at the southern foot of the slope, where the vines encounter a mixture of calcareous Chernozem from loess and crystalline debris. Ultimately, this results in a Riesling with a feminine character, showcasing warm and expressive fruit flavors alongside a velvety minerality.
|Vine age||30-45 years|
|Soil||Gneiss, Marble, Loess|
|Gradient||up to 25°|
|Village||Strass, Kammern, Zöbing|
Heiligenstein is one of the most renowned Riesling vineyards in Austria, and its authentic wines receive international acclaim. The first written mention of the vineyard dates back to 1280, referred to as "Hellenstein". For a long time, it was speculated that the name was derived from the German word "Hölle" (Hell), which seemed logical considering the intense sun exposure and the heat one would experience working on the south-facing terraces. In fact, however, “Hel” means “shiny, light” in Middle High German (ergo: the bright hill), and over the centuries the dialect turned Hellenstein into Heiligenstein (Stone of the Saints).
The geology of Heiligenstein is particularly fascinating and unique. It forms a geological island within Europe. The sedimentary layers, known as the "Perm of Zöbing," submerged deep beneath the Earth's surface approximately 248-290 million years ago before resurfacing in today's Kamptal region. These layers were exposed to desert climates and volcanic activity. The visible bedrock predominantly consists of reddish-brown sandstone with a high feldspar content, coarse conglomerates, and minor siltstone. Fossilized plant remains and boulders of volcanic quartz porphyries can also be found, providing the vines with a diverse array of micro-elements. The wines produced from this soil reflect this unique character and are known for their distinctiveness.
|Vine age||30-60 years|
|Gradient||up to 32°|