Wieninger, Gemis­chter Satz

Decanter - - WINE DISCOVERY -

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.

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