Grüner Veltliner Käferberg Erste Lage
Weingut Jurtschitsch in Langenlois, of Kamptal in Austria, dates back to the 17th century- it’s among the oldest wineries in Kamptal. Previously owned and operated by the brothers Edwin, Karl, and Paul, but now under the guidance of Alwin Jurtschitsch and Stefanie Hasselbach.
The inspiration for their winemaking comes from the classic styles of the region, like the wines their grandparents made- wines of acidity/ripe fruit. Farming organically is necessary to take proper care of the vines and sustain healthy soil, which would in turn lead to the best possible wine they could make. Ever curious, they turned soil in Austria, studied in Germany, harvested in France, gaining as much knowledge as they could.
Alwin and Stefanie prioritize protecting biodiversity in the vineyard, stabilizing the entire system with an abundance of life within it. Among the vines are fruit trees, grass, garlic, insects, and wildflowers. They have a deep understanding of running a family winery – they are the fourth generation, each generation offering something new, the ideal being a mixture of tradition and feeling.
Alwin tells a story about tasting his father’s favorite bottle he ever made- a Riesling from 1969- and upon hearing how it was made, naturally- no temperature control, spontaneous fermentation, no intervention- he knew he was on the right path. He’d traveled, studied, learned all he could, ultimately believing, “it’s not about technique- it’s about personality, it’s about feeling.” He stresses learning to be a good farmer, relaxing in the cellar, to see “the silent voice of terroir in the wines.”
The Käferberg vineyard overlooks Langenlois and is to Gruner Veltliner what the Heiligenstein vineyard is to Riesling – world famous. The roots of the 62-year-old vines grow deep in a very rocky soil and bring a special saltiness in the wine. It is a sunny vineyard, but also very windy. The character of the wine is always a bit richer without being fat. This wine sees two days of maceration on the skins, followed by two months of slow spontaneous fermentation and ten months of aging on the full lees. The vineyard occupies a warm, sheltered site between 300 and 345 meters above sea level, with a southern and southeastern exposure. The soils are variable, with different underlying bedrock: within a small area one can find crystalline rocks such as amphibolite, gneiss, and mica schist, alternating with much younger clay marl, sands, and rare gravels that were deposited in the ancient Paratethys Sea 16 million years ago.