Kitzeck im Sausal is a village that deserves high praise. That’s because it boasts the highest-in-elevation wine estates in Austria. But it takes more than a mountaintop to create great wine. It takes many generations of the Wohlmuth family who have been making 100% single-estate-grown wine here since 1803!
The estate owns several of the steepest vineyards anywhere in Europe, with a 90-plus percent gradient that requires tremendous work and passion. The family says, “To work with nature means to trust nature!” And nature is a full partner in this historic 55-hectare winery in so many ways. The multi-faceted slate soils deliver deep complexity, the plentiful sunshine ensures ripeness, and the high altitude provides coolness and tension. By applying a thoughtful approach in both the vineyard and cellar, the Wohlmuths have taken nature’s gifts and perfected them.
The essence of the work here remains largely unchanged from 1803. The solid slate formations in the soil are pounded by hammer into fragments, with each vine painstakingly worked into the barren soil. The extreme steepness of the vineyards preclude any use of machines, so the fruit is cultivated and harvested 100% by hand with no herbicides or pesticides used. From cutting the vines to canopy management to selective manual harvest, the Wohlmuth team works hand in hand with nature itself.