Over the past generation, the Jurtschitsch winery in Langenlois / Kamptal has grown into one of the most prominent top wineries in Austria. Having being run by the three brothers Edwin, Paul and Karl Jurtschitsch, the family-owned winery has now been passed on to the younger generation, to Alwin Jurtschitsch and his partner Stefanie Hasselbach.
This family business succession has been prepared thoroughly. The couple travelled around the world, gathering experience in New Zealand and Australia. Working as interns in famed wineries in France, they got to know the French school of the Old Wine World. “It was a wonderful time and we learnt a lot. Now, we can put the ideas and the experience we have gained into practice back home in the Kamptal”, explains Alwin Jurtschitsch.
A first step was the change-over to an organic cultivation of the family-owned vineyards. It was followed by a reduction of the wine-growing sites so that they could concentrate of the first-class appellations of the Kamp Tal. And all this went smoothly and with a great deal of sensitivity and respect for tradition.
The wine philosophy also underwent a transformation: “Our wine style became more ‘polarising‘, characterised by the idea of terroirs without compromise”, says Stefanie Hasselbach.
They produce wines which let the vineyards and soils speak for themselves, even about the winegrower who cares for them. “Yes, we are farmers”, Alwin Jurtschitsch stresses, “this is our work, our tradition and handcraft in the best sense of the word.” In the cellar, all this is turned into a work of art. The wines shine in multi-faceted elegance, offering drinking pleasure at highest level without being baroque and heavy. The Grüner Veltliner wines interpret the Kamp Valley’s spiciness at its finest, while the Rieslings impress with their crystalline minerality. The renowned Gault Millau wine guide most recently called the Jurtschitsch winery “the most exciting one in Langenlois at present”!
Jurtschitsch is a very important winery in the Kamptal, with a rich history. The press house is from the 16th century and they have a 700 year-old natural, cool cellar. They farm organically not only for the wines they are making today, but also to preserve their vineyards for future generations. They are best known for their single-vinyard wines that are fermented with their own wild ambient yeasts and gentle, traditional vinification methods. Peter Moser also offers, “Few other Austrian wineries successfully produce such consistent quality over such a broad spectrum of wines.” In addition to the sophisticated single-vineyard wines, they make a fun entry level wine called GrüVe. Don’t be fooled, although it looks fun and simple, the wine over delivers for the price point. The label is designed by famous artist Christian Ludwig Attersee who makes up a new label each year.
Heiligenstein means “holy stone” and is one of the most historical single vineyards of the Kamptal. The soil type is unique and only found on this special hill. It was formed during the period of Perm, 270 billion years ago. A very high content of Quartz leads to intensely mineral wines. Heiligenstein is mostly planted with Riesling. A special flora and fauna is found in this natural reserve. During the day the hillside is influenced by the warm pannonian climate form the south and at night the cool temeratures from the highlands chill down the area. This big change in temperature between the night and day leads to the unique fruity Riesling style. Riesling of Heiligenstein is normally fermented very dry. The high acidity levels in 2010 are well balanced with about 7 gram of residual sugar.
60 year-old vines are planted on steep, desert sandstone terraces. The wines are macerated for 12 hours and fermentation starts spontaneously in 1100 liter barrels. The wines spend 6 months on the lees and batonnage is done.
2010 production was 1,300 bottles. Certified organic since 2009 vintage.