Weingut Sattlerhof Vom Sand 2010
Sattlerhof is located on a steep hill to the south of Gamlitz with a great view of the bewildering landscape of Southern Styria. In this wonderful setting, they attend to approximately 40 hectares of vineyards and produce exclusive wines that are known both in Austria and well beyond its borders. They cultivate rather small parcels of land with very steeply inclined, challenging vineyards that are ideally oriented and at the right altitude, with a special emphasis on organic winegrowing, sustainable treatment of the soils and the longevity of the vines. This is their own contribution to a cultural landscape that has been cultivated for several hundreds of years.
The young generation increasingly leaves its marks on all things concerning the Sattlerhof. Tradition and innovation are the roots for the young ones in shaping the successful future of this family-owned winery. Andreas studied viticulture, has taken responsibility since 2014 in the cellar. Alexander gratuated in business management and has been working in the winery since 2018. Among other things, he is responsible for the press house during the harvest. Daughter Michaela studied art and has, among other things, designed the labels for Fassreserve 2007 and Grassnitzburg Sauvignon blanc. The youngest child, Lukas, also has a graphic education and contributes creative ideas in many ways.
Appreciated for superior wines made from indigenous varieties, Austria should be on the radar of any curious wine drinker. A rather cool and dry wine growing region, this country produces wine that is quintessentially European in style: food-friendly with racy acidity, moderate alcohol and fresh fruit flavors.
Austria’s viticultural history is rich and vast, dating back to Celtic tribes with first written record of winemaking starting with the Romans. But the 20th century brought Austria a series of winemaking obstacles, namely the plunder of both world wars, as well as its own self-imposed quality breach. In the mid 1980s, after a handful of shameless vintners were found to have added diethylene glycol (a toxic substance) to their sweet wines to imitate the unctuous qualities imparted by botrytis, Austria’s credibility as a wine-producing country was compromised. While no one was harmed, the incident forced the country to rebound and recover stronger than ever. By the 1990s, Austria was back on the playing field with exports and today is prized globally for its quality standards and dedication to purity and excellence.
Grüner Veltliner, known for its racy acidity and herbal, peppery aromatics, is Austria's most important white variety, comprising nearly a third of Austrian plantings. Riesling in Austria is high in quality but not quantity, planted on less than 5% of the country’s vineyard land. Austrian Rieslings are almost always dry and are full of bright citrus flavors and good acidity. Red varietal wines include the tart and peppery Zweigelt, spicy and dense Blaufränkisch and juicy Saint Laurent. These red varieties are also sometimes blended.
With hundreds of white grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended white wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a soft and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is more fragrant and naturally high in acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.