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Ludwig Hiedler with sons Ludwig Jr. and Dietmar
Authentic Grüner Veltliner and Rieslings which tells their own story and reflects the unique character of its origin—the terroir. Their wines exhibit a natural elegance and expressiveness, unique to this family.
- Defined as very cold winters, hot, short, fairly rainy summers, with long, cool, dry autumns.
- Now: winters are usually not as cold, summers are much hotter, drought is a serious problem 4 or the last 5 years, autumns start later and are often much wetter than they used to be.
- Kamptal is cooled by air coming down from the north, especially the valley’s and surrounding forest. But warmth comes in the form of hot eastern gusts, helping to ripen the grapes and keep disease at bay.
- There is a big diurnal shift (difference between day and night temperatures) starting in the fall. This extends the growing season and gives Austrian wines their signature balance of freshness and ripeness, opulence and grace.
- Cool climate wines are high in acid, low in alcohol, light in body, and often show a lot of mineral flavors rather than fruit.
- Usually white wines are made, but some light reds, like Pinot Noir can also ripen well.
- Warmer vintages: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2015 produce wines with lower acidity, higher alcohols, and richer fruit flavors.
- Cooler vintages: 2021, 2013, 2010, 2008 produce what are now considered “classic” cool-climate wines.
- Thal: Langenlois Village. 80 year old vines, the earliest single vineyard Grüner Veltliner. Gentle, terraced slope of calcareous loess and quartz sand. Earthy and herbal wines.
- Kittmanssberg: Langenlois Village. At 1,035 feet, this is one of Langenloiser's highest vineyards. Their parcels are at the top of the giant amphitheater with calcareous clay, loess and loam. Wines have a ripe yellow fruit, spicy character and velvety minerality.
- Schenkenbichl: Just north of Langenlois. This south facing hill of terraces is cooled by westerly winds. Soils are amphibolite, gneiss, and loess for wines with subtle fruit and smoky salinity.
- Käferberg: The soils are variable, with different underlying bedrock: within a small area one can find crystalline rocks such as amphibolite, gneiss, and mica schist, alternating with much younger clay marl, sands, and rare gravels that were deposited in the ancient Paratethys Sea 16 million years ago. One of the highest elevation sites, up to 1,035 feet, and terraced, it is subject to cooling winds, meaning that even in the hottest years the wines have plenty of salty, mineral freshness.
- Steinhaus: The steepest vineyard in Langenlois, first documented in 1934. These narrow terraces have a very shallow topsoil with gneiss, Amphibolite, and quartz below which heat up during the day and then slowly give off heat over the night hours. Riesling vines dig deep into the bed rock here and give wines great tension.
- Gaisberg: Zoibing. The easternmost end of the Gföhler Gneiss plate that runs under the Kamptal, soils are made up of slatey para-gneiss, mica-schist, and amphibolite (metamorphic rocks formed from intense heat and pressure), marble, and loess. Because of its steep southerly aspect and exposure to the eastern warming Pannonian winds, it was historically somewhere Rieling would consistently ripen. Today the wines are warm, fruity and pretty.
- Heiligenstein: Most famous site in Kamptal and one of the great vineyards of Austria. This terraced hill is an outcropping of 270 million year old unique formation of red sandstone and conglomerate with volcanic permian rocks. Superb Riesling is to be found here. Some plots are up to 60 years old.
- Grüner Veltliner:
- A true Austrian treasure. Grüner is rarely planted outside of its home country, but is revered the world over.
- Mainly grown in the Lower Austrian region (Niederösterreich) with some vines in northernmost Burgenland, it holds 30% of the country’s vineyard area.
- Grüner is dynamic making it known for easily quaffable fresh and fruity wines. But, it just as easily becomes Austria’s most famous long-lived, mineral-laden beauties and some delicious sekt (wine made with bubbles).
- Wines from Grüner Veltliner have continuously taken top marks in blind tastings against Chardonnay from Burgundy and California, displaying a richness and concentration sans the oak barrels its competitors rely on.
- Its flavors range from stone fruit, fresh pear, lemon, green herbs, arugula, and spicy white or black pepper. The best versions can age for decades and develop complex notes of honey, toast, chutney and wax.
- The King of White Grapes
- You’ll find it on the peaks of high, rocky, steep vineyards in the Wachau, Kamptal and Kremstal.
- What they lack in vineyard area, these wines make up for in pure, clear, undeniable quality.
- The best examples show the beauty that can come from a perfect marriage: these wines bring the acidity of the Mosel, matched with the density of Alsacian Grand Crus, but are always dry and ready to age for decades.
- They often benefit from 5-10 years of bottle age, but your patience is greatly rewarded with a kaleidoscope of flavors and textures.
- Fruits span the rainbow depending on the site, style and vintage, from green melon, lime and herbs, yellow peaches and lemons, orange zest and marmalade, pink grapefruit, even a touch of cherry on occasion. But the real beauty lies in the non-fruit notes. Especially with age, you can get stony minerality, petrol, honey, toast, salt, marzipan and so much more.
- Pinot Blanc / Weissburgunder
- The secret weapon Austrian whites.
- It was brought over with the Cisterian monks in the 10th century and is grown in small pockets in all the wine regions.
- Similar to Chardonnay, but with softer flavors and acidity.
- Makes great simple quaffing wines. But grown in the best plots it makes some of the most surprisingly concentrated and long lived wines in the country.
- It’s not exported often so bottles are hard to find outside of Austria, but not to be missed if you can lay your hands on one.
- The Hiedlers were the first to plant this in Kamptal in 1955.
- Another grape brought over by the Cistercian monks so it’s had a long time to make a home for itself.
- Grown across the country, it is made in styles that range from light, unoaked, and Chablisienne to big, broad and toasty.
- There are some beautiful examples, Burgenland, Vienna, Lower Austria and especially the Steiermark.
- Focus on topsoil
- Green vegetation and wild herbs ensure vital soils and a healthy ecosystem for beneficial organisms.
- Organic compost
- Copper is limited to a minimum
- Strict abstinence of herbicides and pesticides has been in effect for several decades
- Only hand harvesting
Modern - Low Intervention
- Only local Kamptal yeast
- No enzymes
- No sulfuring of the must
- Fermentation and aging in Stainless steel and acacia
- Extended lees aging
- Selective battonage
- Malolactic fermentation is not blocked, leading to a broad mouthfeel and very stable wines
Established in 1856 and recognized as far back as the 1900s for quality by the Archduchy of Austria, the family continues to strive for excellence.
Now in the hands of Ludwig III and his brother Dietmar, they carry on the family legacy of tending soils first, vines second and wines third. This approach has always meant some of the most unique but powerfully delicious wines in the Kamptal.
Their holdings are nearly unmatched as is their collection of old vines. Chemicals are limited to absolutely necessary fungicides and nothing else. They are some of the first to embrace regenerative farming, where carbon capture and healthy biomes are cultivated without tilling.
In the cellar these are some of the more “natural” wines, although the results are entirely classic. Very little sulfur is employed and nothing else is added. Because they can go through ML, the need for harsh filtering is limited, but are incredibly stable nonetheless.
Broad and rich, but not heavy or flat. They have a powerful core and sense of place. Minerality is first and foremost with a slightly softer acidity, balanced by subtle fruit notes.
There is really nothing like them anywhere.
Hiedler, Grüner Veltliner Käferberg Erste Lage, 2021 $59.99 $52.79
"Same vinification as 2020, unfiltered. Dei tonnelier, the wood is supporting the structure of the wine, the wood here is quite transparent and finer kind of support. You feel the wood here in two different parts of the wine, first before the wine dives into the riper fruit character and then in the finish and over time this is creating a link between the two sides of this wine. This you still feel the character of the vintage and the variety. Excellent." — Gabriel Clary, Skurnik Wines
Hiedler, Grüner Veltliner Kittmannsberg 1 ÖTW Kamptal DAC, 2021 $41.99 $36.95
“Crystalline rocks, clay marl. Shy, fresh-fruit notes mingle with mint, lemon balm and pepper. The creamy palate gives way to a zesty texture; fruity finish. 16.5 pts” — Paula Sidore, Jancis Robinson.com
Hiedler, Grüner Veltliner Loess Kamptal DAC, 2022 $23.99 $21.11
"This comes from newly joined vineyards where we don’t know what clones were selected. “When we plant we tend to use our own clonal material.” 4 months on the lees. This is very good, more on the greener side, very open and approachable, nice green elements, culinary herbs, sweet sorrel, chervil, more floral iris. There is always a little bit more RS as there were some stuck ferments which were blended on. 11.8% alc. 6 weeks of picking, first pass." — Gabriel Clary, Skurnik Wines
Hiedler, Grüner Veltliner Thal Kamptal DAC, 2022 $30.99 $27.27
"2nd pass, 6 months on the lees, chalky loess soils with sand. A drier loess place, which is good for this vintage. Up to 80 year old vines. Fresher kind of character and feels more crisp and a bit more expansive, honeydew and ripe, but still with this kind of ripe character and again, while it is bright it also has the classic savory flavors that this wine should have, mineral and delicious. Unfiltered, so this is more textured but not heavy. Several parts, takes the lees after ferment to check them, if they smell fruit and good left on the Gross lees until a few weeks before bottling. Racked off very late and then no filtration." — Gabriel Clary, Skurnik Wines
Hiedler, Riesling Heiligenstein 1 ÖTW Kamptal DAC, 2021 $64.99 $57.19
“Sourced from 60-year-old vines, Hiedler's 2021 Ried Heiligenstein 1ÖTW Riesling shows clear, open, bright and elegant fruit with herbal as well as earthy notes of broken rock. Juicy, intense and dense in the mouth, this is a powerful and firmly structured, still somewhat bitter Heiligenstein that needs some time to develop its full size. It's undoubtedly a great Riesling from the Kamptal. 13% stated alcohol. Natural cork. Tasted in Grafenegg in September 2022. 94+ pts” -- Stephan Reinhardt, The Wine Advocate
Hiedler, Riesling Langenlois Kamptal DAC, 2022 $32.99 $29.03
"This smells very classic just-ripe apricot with the stem and leaves intact, this green thread that goes through the wine. A little bit of tactile and some fruit skin, there is some of the texture here from 6 months on the lees, terraces in the Nw – Steinhaus, Steinmassl, Shcecknbichecl, Ladner – has a lime-y zestiness. 24-36 hrs skin maceration you feel a little bit of phenolic structure in the second half of the wine." — Gabriel Clary, Skurnik Wines
Hiedler, Riesling Steinhaus 1 ÖTW Kamptal DAC, 2021 $48.99 $43.11
"Crystalline rocks. Screwcap. Creamy yellow fruit, gentle spice, and a flinty, wet-stone, spontaneous-fermentation aroma. Animating lemon acidity, even if a bit straightforward on the taut, sweet-sour exchange. Long, zesty finish. 16 pts" — Paula Sidore, JancisRobinson.com