The Kitzeck-Sausal Ortswein district is the northernmost part of the Südsteiermark and open to the nearby Alps.
Kitzeck-Sausal is made up of much older sorts of rock than those of the surrounding hilly landscape in the basin. They came into existence during ancient geologic time and belong to the Eastern Alpine unit, which here stands out from the basin’s alluvial deposits in a threshold area, as one of the easternmost manifestations of their kind. The landscape is therefore somewhat rougher here. Differences in elevation from the highest point of a particular hill to the bottom of the valley are typically more than 200 metres. Most of the vineyards are planted at altitudes of between 380–650 metres, which contributes to good ventilation of the vines and prevents their contact with the morning fogs. The steepest vineyards, with an incline of more than 70 per cent in Kitzeck-Sausal, can almost exclusively be cultivated only by hand.
AREA UNDER VINES
Sauvignon Blanc & Riesling
Predominantly slate (red, blue-black, green & grey), formed from crystalline schistic stone. Occasionally, limestone soils in the eastern border area.
The vegetation period in Kitzeck-Sausal is longer than in the rest of the Südsteiermark; the harvest takes place on average one to two weeks later. The meagre slate soils give the wines a cool, spicy and firm minerality.
The Ortswein district Gamlitz features a gently undulating landscape with steep vineyards, orchards and small mixed forests.
The vineyards are situated between 320–550 metres above sea level; orientation ranges from east to south to west. Vineyards are partly warm, kettle-shaped sites protected from the wind, while some exposed steep hills (so-called »Kogl«) rise above other parts of the landscape. There are two streams in rift valleys (Steinbachgraben & Kranachgraben) that influence the microclimate and widen the difference between daytime and nighttime temperatures; a circumstance that leads to enhanced expression of fruit flavour in the grapes.
AREA UNDER VINES
Sauvignon Blanc & Muskateller
Predominantly sandy & gravel soils, originating from sandy and pebbly source material; occasional limestone/marl soils in the eastern area.
The rich and ripe fruit aroma (yellow & red fruits) is produced in the warm and kettle-shaped vineyards, which – especially in Sauvignon Blanc – yield very expressive wines. Delicately vegetable aromas develop here in the cooler vineyards above 400 metres of elevation. The Gelber Muskateller are sculpted by the warm, porous sand and gravel soils, showing marked elements of herbal spice (meadow herbs). The wines show great finesse on the palate and are richly detailed in flavour.
Please download the Ortswein district map of the Südsteiermark here.