It's the vineyard.
We know our vineyard-sites and all their peculiarities. There is an age-old wisdom amongst vintners that there are vineyards which, when carefully tended each year, consistently yield exceptional wines. 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 six 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 most significant vineyards in the Danube region. Today we count 68 members and have been working on this vision for over 25 years. Work in progress.
Find out more: www.traditionsweingueter.at
The historical Thal vineyard has a special meaning to us. A few parcels have been in the hands of our family since the beginning of the winery's history. This is where Josef and Anna Hiedler cultivated their first 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 generations ago. Here, the vines grow on very calcareous loess and local quartz-sands, creating a bright and cool soil. It is also here, where Ludwig I. planted one of the first Grüner Veltliner vineyards of the Kamptal in 1936. These 80-year-old vines date back to a time, when yield was not the prime concern of vintners: middle-sized fruit, rather loose-berried, with a distinct herbal and very 'down-to-earth' taste. We continue to select those old and authentic vine genetics to this day.
|Vine age||30-50 years|
|Altitude||230 - 270 m|
|Orientation||S - SSW|
Kittmannsberg is one of the highest elevated vineyard sites in the Kamptal, located just west of Langenlois. It's first mention can be traced back to the year 1353 under the name 'Chotmannsperig', probably named after the original owner of the vineyard. It is shaped like a wide bowl and opens towards the southeast into the Langenlois basin. It reaches about 345 m above sea level at its highest point, 280 m at its lowest point. The characteristic basin-shaped topographic depression is responsible for its autonomous microclimate and, especially in the higher lying terraces, enables extended ripening periods. Here our vines stand on fine-grained loam soils with a high content of clay. It can be quite chalky in some places.
|Vine age||30-50 years|
|Soil||Calcareous Clay, Loessloam|
Schenkenbichl is facing Langenlois and covers the north of the town. The name first appeared in 1402 and has remained unchanged ever since. Its origin is believed in an old tavern (Schenke) at the foot of the hill (Bühel) in Langenlois. The slope is characterized by small and somewhat larger terraces which in our case, are located at the highest point at around 315 m above sea level. Here our Veltliner grows on metamorphic rock, mostly dark amphibolite. The amphibolite bedrock is overlain by a cambisol formed from mica-rich silicates. Towards the lower end, reaching the town of Langenlois, more and more loess, interspersed with many rocks, can be found. The bottom of the slope is home to the oldest Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc) of the Danube area planted by Dr. Bruno Hiedler in 1955. Here we find the geological remains of the old Loisbachtal (Lois Creek Valley). The gnarly vines root on gravel with calcareous loess running through it.
|Vine age||20-60 years|
The steepest of Kamptal's slopes was already well known in 1394 as 'Stainhaws'. This name was most likely derived from the small stone cottages which served as shelters and whose remains are still scattered along the vineyards today. The slope is characterized by small and partly narrow terraces. Gneisses and dark amphibolites, interspersed with quartz and feldspar veins, form the base for the vines. Due to the steepness the humic topsoil is only a few centimeters thin. As the rugged, dark ground heats up in the sun, there is a warm-cold contrast between ground and air temperatures, especially in the early hours of the night. A microclimate that, in combination with the meager rocksoil, creates great tension in the Rieslings.
|Vine age||20-45 years|
|Soil||Gneiss, Amphibolite, Quartz|
With its milder microclimate, the Gaisberg is one of the historically most relevant vineyards in the Kamptal. It is this slope where the Pannonian air current arrives earliest. A first written record of the site can be found as early as 1341 under the name 'Gaizperch'. Most likely the terraced slope was originally grazed by goats (Geissen). The vineyard extends up to 335 m above sea level, occupying a steep slope that runs down towards the Strass-valley in the east and gently declines towards the southern village of Kammern. In the highest third of Gaisberg our vines dig their roots into a rocky soil of marble and paragneiss. Granites and amphibolite lenses can also be found in some places. Another, smaller plot is located on the southern foot of the slope, where one encounters calcareous Chernozem from loess over gravel and crystalline debris.
|Vine age||30 years|
|Soil||Gneiss, Marble, Granite|
It is the northernmost as “Erste Lage” classified vineyard in Kamptal (and in Austria). Kogelberg lies on a broad north-south spur of the 'Waldviertel' plateau and sits right at the point where the narrow river valley opens towards the Langenlois basin. The slope is cooled by cold air currents which originate from the shady and densely wooded upper reaches of the Kamp river. Due to its particular geographic location the vineyard is characterized by a noticeably cooler microclimate, marked by substantial temperature variations between day and night. The soil on which the vines root is purely crystalline and dominated by bronze-colored mica schist in which dark amphibolites can be found scattered over a large area.
|Vine age||15-50 years|
This is one of the most famed Riesling vineyards in Austria, whose authentic wines enjoy international attention. The history of the hillside vineyard can be traced back to 1314. In 1280 we find a first written mention as Hellenstein (Hell Stone), which seems logical as it is a south facing slope on which the sun "burns like hell". According to the document of 1314 the name could also originate from the meaning "am glatten Stein" (on the smooth stone). The vernacular eventually transformed it to 'Heiligenstein' (Stone of Saints) which sounds similar in dialect. The Heiligenstein is a unique geological formation - a geological island - within Europe. The sediments, referred to as “Perm of Zöbing”, sunk into the deep some 248-290 million years ago, before it broke through the earth's crust again. The mighty layers, consisting of sandstone, brittle sedimentary rock and conglomerate, were exposed to desert climates and volcanic activity. The outcropping bedrock consists of reddish-brown sandstone with a high feldspar content, coarse conglomerates and minor siltstone. Residues of fossilized plants and boulders of volcanic quartz porphyries can be found; hundreds of elements which the vines absorb in different micro-doses.
|Vine age||30-60 years|