Weszeli

Weszeli winemaker

Some of the following content has been borrowed directly from Weszeli’s website.

A father of three, Davis Weszeli switched from the hustle and bustle of city life to agriculture in order to be closer to nature. His appreciate for the art of the Kamptal vintners early on led him to acquire the fabulous Summerer winery in 2011 from Rupert Summerer, a now retired and highly respected winegrower who put together a stable of very important parcels in some of this region’s most highly sought after vineyards.

Sustainability of organic viticulture (now certified organic and also practicing biodynamic farming) and the authenticity of the wines led Davis to a winemaking approach with no additives (outside of sulfites) and no technical tricks. Guided by each vineyard’s ecosystem in order to fully benefit from the potential of their terroir, Weszeli’s approach utilizes a combination of understanding for the old and proven, and even some unorthodox approaches to explore hidden layers of complexity not often found in young wines. Moving against the local tradition of short cellar aging, all of his top cru vineyards are uniquely aged for more than two years in large wood vats prior to bottling, rendering wines of true depth that accentuate what would typically be secondary and tertiary characteristics centered around savory components instead of big, youthful fruit. The results are intensely complex wines with an unparalleled style for the area.

The oenologist and winemaker, Thomas Ganser, with in-depth professional qualification acquired at the Krems School of Oenology and the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, joined in time for the 2015 harvest. Besides his extensive training, Thomas considers his direct global experiences, which included his tenure as the winemaker in a renowned, traditional Austrian winery, and in years prior from his time at wineries in New Zealand, Australia, and Chile. A nature and sport-loving German (build like a greek god statue) with an impeccable palate and a deep commitment to his work, Thomas has made an immense contribution to realize Davis’s vision for the Weszeli wines.

Lay of the Land

Long known to produce some of Austria’s finest white wines, the Kamptal is a unique valley region in Austria and one that varies in altitude between 200-400 meters. The summer days area hot, though with the warm Pannonian winds that meet the cooler Northwest winds, the nights cool down significantly, causing large diurnal fluctuations. The soil is primarily loess, gneiss, and clay, ideal for growing Gruner Veltliner and Riesling. The long growing season and sunny autumn days allow the grapes to reach full physiological maturity.

The thirty hectares of Weszeli’s Grüner Veltliner and Riesling ineyards are situated around Langenlois, the main township of the region. With a tradition of cultivating grapes and producing wine since 1679, Davis connects the old family knowledge with his own philosophy called Terrafactum, which implies that the vineyard itself, with its unique biological diversity, as their guide. As with many other nature-connected winegrowers, Davis is convinced that the true character of wine is formed through the interaction of flora and fauna in and around a vineyard. To best work with this natural setting and to disturb as little as possible, machines are only used in vineyards when necessary; whether it’s the care of the vines, the shortening of the leaves, or the harvesting, most steps through the growing season are performed by hand, including vineyard treatments in order to insure judicious applications where needed and nothing where it’s not. This kind of respect in the vineyards carries into cellar processes and is felt in each of their wines.

Weszeli

Weszeli - 2017 Riesling, “Seeberg”

Price: $66.00
Size: 750ml
Availability: 

Out of stock

Type of Wine: White
Grape(s): Riesling
Style: High acid, Mineral

The Wine

The diversity of the Kamptal is extensive, and Davis Weszeli's vineyards have great breadth in various exposures, soil types, and genetic materials that have amassed from the nearly 400-year-old Summerer estate he purchased in 2010. Seeberg, primarily grown on mica schist (another acidic rock type), gives tremendous saltiness and deep mineral characteristics, and may be the top site in his collection.

Honey, apple, preserved lemon, and a light white smokiness lead with aromatic charm, while the initial attack on the front palate is strong and piercing with layers of texture. This high acid, salty wine is ripe with tart apricot flavors and finishes with a soft bitterness—a welcome quality in a wine like this!—lingering on the back-palate for what seems like minutes. 18 months in semi-neutral 2000-liter oak barrels (purchased in 2011) help transform what could be a behemoth wine with ridged angles into a vast wine that manages to be both lithe and deeply complex.

INFORMATION DISCLAIMER

Terroir: The expanse of nearly 4000 hectares of vines in Lower Austria’s Kamptal wine region follows a final north to south segment of the Kamp River before it joins the Danube not too far down stream. Here there is an immense variation of soil and bedrock types and microclimates. However, what all vineyards in the Kamptal have in common (as does much of the winegrowing regions in Lower Austria, or Niederösterreich) is the tug of war between the warm Pannonian winds from the east and the Waldviertel cool air that comes in from the northwest. Seeberg is located north of Langenlois and northwest of Zöbing, close to the river where it begins to narrow, which brings in even more cold air than further south.

Vinification: Weszeli remains flexible in order to work around their philosophical ideas that may not match with the needs of each vintage. Generally, each vineyard is picked three times: the first grapes are used for entry-level wines or sparkling base, the second for blending options used for entry-level wines and the last (best) are kept for the Erste Lage and Purus wines. Once the grapes for the Erste Lage are picked they are whole bunch macerated between 6-18 hours—longer in cooler years, shorter in hotter ones. The first sulfite addition is usually made after the 2-3 month spontaneous alcoholic fermentation in stainless steel is completed. Malolactic fermentation may happen (if there is no addition of sulfite for a good length of time, which allows for lower sulfite levels), although it’s not desired.

Aging: 18 months in 2000-liter oak barrels (first used in 2011). Filtered.

(Subjective and based on young wines)

Ageability:

Drink YoungShort-Term BenefitsLong-Term BenefitsUnknown

Technical Precision:

NatureModerateNurture

The Vineyard

Soil:

Mica schist bedrock with a topsoil composed of decomposed bedrock, löss, clay and sand.

Farming:

SustainableOrganic CertifiedBiodynamic CertifiedUncertified Naturalist

In 2017 Organic conversion began and in 2019 Biodynamic conversion will start.

Irrigation:

ForbiddenNeverSometimes

Vine Age:

Planted 1966

Altitude (meters):

270-320

Aspect:

South

Slope:

Large gradual terraces (3-5%)
(typical numbers; not vintage specific)

Enological Additions:

Sulfur Dioxide

Total SO2:

None AddedVery LowLowMediumHigh

Alcohol:

12.5-13.5

pH:

3.20-3.30

Titratable Acidity:

6-7.5

Residual Sugar:

>4

Notes compiled in 2019 by Ted Vance (The Source), Thomas Ganser (Weszeli) and other sources, like Kamptal.at and Austrianwine.com

About The Wine

The diversity of the Kamptal is extensive, and Davis Weszeli’s vineyards have great breadth in various exposures, soil types, and genetic materials that have amassed from the nearly 400-year-old Summerer estate he purchased in 2010. Seeberg, primarily grown on mica schist (another acidic rock type), gives tremendous saltiness and deep mineral characteristics, and may be the top site in his collection.

Honey, apple, preserved lemon, and a light white smokiness lead with aromatic charm, while the initial attack on the front palate is strong and piercing with layers of texture. This high acid, salty wine is ripe with tart apricot flavors and finishes with a soft bitterness—a welcome quality in a wine like this!—lingering on the back-palate for what seems like minutes. 18 months in semi-neutral 2000-liter oak barrels (purchased in 2011) help transform what could be a behemoth wine with ridged angles into a vast wine that manages to be both lithe and deeply complex.