Ortsweine of the Südsteiermark

The five Ortswein districts of the Südsteiermark – north to south – are Kitzeck-Sausal, Gamlitz, Eichberg, Ehrenhausen and Leutschach.

Kitzeck-Sausal

The Kitzeck-Sausal Ortswein district is the northernmost part of the Südsteiermark and open to the nearby Alps.

LANDSCAPE
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
419 hectares

PRIMARY VARIETIES
Sauvignon Blanc & Riesling

SOILS
Predominantly slate (red, blue-black, green & grey), formed from crystalline schistic stone. Occasionally, limestone soils in the eastern border area.

STYLE
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.

Gamlitz

The Ortswein district Gamlitz features a gently undulating landscape with steep vineyards, orchards and small mixed forests.

LANDSCAPE
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
693 hectares

PRIMARY VARIETIES
Sauvignon Blanc & Muskateller

SOILS
Predominantly sandy & gravel soils, originating from sandy and pebbly source material; occasional limestone/marl soils in the eastern area.

STYLE
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.

Eichberg

The Ortswein district Eichberg is situated between Gamlitz & Leutschach.

LANDSCAPE
The hill-chain of the Eichberg lies between Gamlitz & Leutschach at 450–600 metres above sea level and is characterised by steep, exposed locations with high crests. The vineyard areas are often surrounded by cooling forests, and the proximity to the Koralpe Range contributes to the cool microclimates here.

AREA UNDER VINES
355 hectares

PRIMARY VARIETIES
Sauvignon Blanc & Muskateller

SOILS
Light gravel & sandy soils from alluvial deposits. Sandstone.

STYLE
The grapes ripen very late because of the elevation and the coolness of the climate; the wines feature herbal/spicy notes in the aromatics arc, show appreciable finesse and are characterised by moderate alcohol content.

Ehrenhausen

Ehrenhausen is the southeasternmost Ortswein district in the Südsteiermark.

LANDSCAPE
Adjacent to the Pannonian plains and the River Mur, there are massive vineyards of coral limestone and calcareous marl. The south-facing, steep vineyards open wide in each direction and lie at about 300–530 metres above sea level.

AREA UNDER VINES
426 hectares

PRIMARY VARIETIES
Sauvignon Blanc & Morillon

SOILS
Predominantly medium-heavy to heavy limestone soils (Leithakalk, also known as coral limestone). Some Opok (calcareous marl) in the southwestern portion.

STYLE
The deeply-rooted vines grow under rather barren conditions and allow the grapes to ripen slowly and harmoniously. The wines are brilliant for their delicate citrus notes, with structural length on the palate as well as ripe acidity and a salty, spicy finish.

Leutschach

The Ortswein district Leutschach is the most southerly in the Südsteiermark.

LANDSCAPE
The Leutschach vineyards are among the most southerly vineyards in the Steiermark and are situated between 380–570 metres of elevation on the hillsides. In Leutschach, south-facing kettle-shaped sites with eastern & western foothills and slopes of up to 75% predominate. The growing region is characterised by warm updrafts, which meet cool air currents coming from the western Koralpe Range. This climatic situation results in substantial temperature differences between day and night and an almost complete absence of any fog.

AREA UNDER VINES
631 hectares

PRIMARY VARIETIES
Sauvignon Blanc & Muskateller

SOILS
Predominantly heavy beds of calcareous marl (Opok), partly traversed by gravel banks.

STYLE
The calcareous marl soils and the great temperature differences between day and night are responsible for spicy and varied – occasionally even dark – aromas. The wines are robust, juicy and well-structured.

Please download the Ortswein district map of the Südsteiermark here.

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