Wieninger, Gemischter Satz
GEMISCHTER SATZ is the speciality of Vienna’s own vineyards, grown in various villages within the city boundaries. The vineyards are planted with several different grape varieties all mixed up. it used to be simply the house wine of every grower’s heurige where locals would go to eat simple home-produced food with a half-litre of wine. several varieties were grown as a form of frost and disease insurance, and the particular mix became each grower’s hallmark.
Grapes that are picked and fermented together – some ripe, some overripe, some a bit green – produce a result that is totally different from the standard practice of growing, picking and fermenting varieties separately and then blending: the wine is more complex, less grape-driven, more ‘winey’. Whether it expresses the terroir better, as the growers claim, is a moot point, but there’s no doubt that co-fermentation has interesting effects on flavour.
Fritz Wieninger’s grapes are in the Bisamberg, Nussberg and Rosengart vineyards. All are cultivated biodynamically. The soils are all different, and the wines different every year. The flavours are always exotic – lime blossom, citrus peel, herbs, held together with good acidity and a silky texture.
Weininger was the driving force behind the revival of gemischter satz: 20 years ago it was dying. Now it’s ultra-fashionable and even has its own organisation, Wien Wein, with half a dozen young members committed to gemischter satz. Weininger has his own heurige in stammersdorf: taste it there, in view of the vineyards, for the full experience.