the vineyards of the vulkanland region
One thing all the vineyards of the Krispel Winery have in common is basalt. But that’s not the whole story. The Rosenberg has the maximum share of limestone in the centre of the slope while at the Neusetzberg the thickest layer is weatherd basalt soil with a depth of up to 5 metres on a limestone base. In the case of the Hochstrandl, however, there is a greater proportion of clay but not so much of the red basalt loam.
The differing slope gradients, orientations and soils are suitable for different kinds of vines.
Muskateller loves the Rosenberg, Sauvignon Blanc has the difficult choice between the Hochstrandl and the Neusetzberg, Pinot Gris is at home on the Hochstrandl while Pinot Blanc is happiest viewing the sundowns from the Neusetzberg.
THE CLASSIFICATION OF SINGLE-VINEYARDS
In Austria, the terms ‘Lage’ and ‘Riede’ (that are actually synonyms) are used for a vineyard. Of course, every winemaker is proud of their vineyards while they are the fantasy of many a wine drinker. The ‘Eruptionswinzer’ group, of which the Krispel Winery is a member, uses the word ‘Lagenwein’ when talking about ‘Erste Lage’ and ‘Grosse Lage’ wines, in other words, the very best wines.
The vineyard classifications in brief: The ‘Eruptionswinzer’ group decided to get together to have their own vineyard quality classification system registered under private law, taking France as their model. On the one hand Burgundy in terms of the quality of the vineyard, on the other hand Bordeaux in terms of the quality of the winery. This new system was assessed for the first time in Austria by an external certification institute. The prestigious LACON GmbH classified the vineyards of the Eruptionswinzer in the categories ‘Erste Lage’ (Premier Cru) and ‘Grosse Lage’ (highest quality vineyard).
The term ‘Erste Lage’ is applied to a first-class vineyard with its own character and ideal potential in terms of age of the vines, location (orientation, relative and absolute elevation) and mesoclimate that, with the knowledge of the winemaker, always produces outstanding wines. Each such vineyard must be awarded at least 75 points in the 100 point scoring system. Vines must be at least 10 years old and the yield may not exceed 4875 litres/hectare. Each bottle of ‘Erste Lage’ wine bears the limited quality proof-tag.
Only the highest quality vineyards of the Vulkanland Steiermark region may be awarded the title of ‘Grosse Lage’. Here grow the most expressive wines of the region with the greatest depth that are perfect for laying down. They are the result of the extraordinary good location of the vineyard (soil, type and age of vines, absolute and relative elevation, orientation and mesoclimate) and the skill of the winemaker. Each such vineyard must be awarded at least 90 points in the 100 point scoring system. The yield may not exceed 3750 litres/hectare. Each bottle of ‘Grosse Lage’ wine bears the limited quality proof-tag.
CERTIFIED BY THE LACON INSTITUTE
RIED STRADENER ROSENBERG
Basalt predominates in the upper section; in the centre of the slope there are plate-like strata of clay sediment with a high content of limestone and at the foot of the slope is loose material of weathered basalt. The vineyard is orientated to the south-east and south-west.
Basalt predominates in the upper section; in the centre of the slope there is red clay and there is a deep layer of weathered basalt, with a high proportion of sand and clay at the foot. The grapes here ripen on a steep slope facing south-east.
The soil on the Neusetzberg that faces west is shell limestone as in the case of the Rosenberg, but this is beneath a 3 to 5 metre layer of weathered basalt with a high proportion of sand and clay inclusions.
Here the soil is characterised by its high content of limestone, sand and gravel. In combination with the microclimate, conditions are ideal for Chardonnay grapes; the cooler night temperatures here ensure that the acidity of the grapes is preserved.