Kracher

Weinlaubenhof Kracher

Weinlaubenhof Kracher is in Burgenland, an hour southeast of Vienna and near the Lake Neusiedl. In June, we toured the area with Gerhard Kracher before we sat down to taste. As we were driving through his vineyards, which are in the National Park Neusiedler See-Seewinkel, just three kilometers from the shore, he described the landscape and the history of the region. The main attraction in this area is the Lake Neusiedl. It’s nearly 22 miles long, and very shallow, less than six feet deep at its maximum depth. The influence of the lake and the Pannonian climate (low precipitation, hot summers and moderately cold winters) create a very special micro-climate, with fog occurring regularly in the fall; these conditions are ideal for the development of botrytis cinerea, the famous “noble rot”. 


Kracher explained that his area on the east side of the lake did not have a history of making sweet wines until after World War II. Sweet wines are made on both sides of the lake, west and east, but the west side was always richer because of the proximity to the rest of Austria and has made sweet wines for approximately 100 years. The east side, where the Kracher winery is located, is isoloated by the lake and the border with Hungary.


Today, the east side of the lake is considered the best area for making sweet wine and Gerhard’s grandfather, Alois Sr., was a pioneer for making sweet wines here. This area is very flat and sandy, with a gravelly subsoil. The sand goes up to four meters deep in some areas. On the east side, in addition to the Lake Neusiedl, there are twenty or so smaller lakes. These smaller lakes are so small that sometimes they dry up in the summer. There is such a high mineral content that you can see a build up of salt and minerals left behind where the lakes dry up. This explains the salty freshness on the finish of the sweet wines. It comes right from the terroir.


In the vineyards, Kracher follows sustainable farming. Gerhard has planted the vineyards at a high density to lower yields, which gives the wines more concentration and complexity. Traditional varieties are planted—40% Welschriesling , 20% Chardonnay, and the balance is mostly Traminer, Pinot Blanc, and Scheurebe. 


At harvest, the grapes are strictly sorted according to ripeness. Fermentations are long and slow with natural yeasts in stainless steel or large oak barrels depending on the cuvée. Before bottling, each vintage blend is determined by blind tasting. The goal is to capture the balance of acidity, lusciousness, complexity, and sense of place.

Image PRODUCT Description Country / Region Region Materials

DB3699-NV
Trockenbeerenauslese Mini
NV
White Blend- mostly Welschriesling
55% Welschriesling, 40% Chardonnay, 5% Traminer. This is a blend of young Trockenbeerenauslese matured in barriques and big casks.  
Austria Burgenland

DB3703-16
Zweigelt Beerenauslese
2016
Zweigelt
100% Zweigelt from Burgenland. Fermented and aged in new French oak for six months. 
Austria Burgenland

DB3702-16
Beerenauslese
2016
White Blend- mostly Welschriesling
60% Welschriesling 40% Chardonnay. 80% is aged in stainless steel tanks and 20% in barrel.  
Austria Burgenland

DB3701-17
Auslese
2017
White blend (mostly Chardonnay)
60% Chardonnay, 40% Welschriesling. Fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks for 11 months.   
Austria Burgenland

DB3700-16
Pinot Gris Trocken
2016
Pinot Gris
100% Pinot Gris from Burgenland. Fermented and aged in stainless steel for 7 months. 
Austria Burgenland