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.

Steinmassl Reisling

Weszeli - 2017 Riesling, “Steinmassl”

Price: $56.00
Size: 750ml
Availability: 

12 in stock

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

The Wine

The vineyard parcels of Weszeli’s Steinmassl are almost exclusively gneiss (an ancient acidic rock that imparts a deeply complex and savory core to its wines) with high iron and clay content that contributes roundness and immediate accessibility in its youth. Davis Weszeli explained that this site has the unusual ability to ripen over a long period of time (likely due to the clay content of the topsoil preserving humidity which keeps the ground cooler), while maintaining good health for its tiny, compact Riesling clusters.

The aging exclusively in stainless steel accentuates the classic Riesling petrol notes, super-charged by aromas of fresh lemon pith, preserved citrus peel, sweet grass, patchouli, and dense mineral impressions. The length of finish on the mid- and back-palate is long, exhibiting the talent and unique character of this special site.

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. Steinmassl is located to the west and slightly north of Langenlois, the cultural heart of Kamptal.

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 stainless steel. Filtered with plate and frame.

(Subjective and based on young wines)

Ageability:

Drink YoungShort-Term BenefitsLong-Term BenefitsUnknown

Technical Precision:

NatureModerateNurture

The Vineyard

Soil:

Metamorphic bedrock (principally paragneiss and orthogneiss with mica-schist and amphibolite) a topsoil of various depths (some as deep as a meter) of decomposed bedrock, stony sedimentary deposits with calcareous influence, iron and clay.

Farming:

SustainableOrganic CertifiedBiodynamic CertifiedUncertified Naturalist

In 2017 Organic conversion started and in 2019 Biodynamic conversion will begin.

Irrigation:

ForbiddenNeverSometimes

Vine Age:

Planted in 1991

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:

12.5-13.0

pH:

3.15-3.25

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 vineyard parcels of Weszeli’s Steinmassl are almost exclusively gneiss (an ancient acidic rock that imparts a deeply complex and savory core to its wines) with high iron and clay content that contributes roundness and immediate accessibility in its youth. Davis Weszeli explained that this site has the unusual ability to ripen over a long period of time (likely due to the clay content of the topsoil preserving humidity which keeps the ground cooler), while maintaining good health for its tiny, compact Riesling clusters.

The aging exclusively in stainless steel accentuates the classic Riesling petrol notes, super-charged by aromas of fresh lemon pith, preserved citrus peel, sweet grass, patchouli, and dense mineral impressions. The length of finish on the mid- and back-palate is long, exhibiting the talent and unique character of this special site.