Gritsch Mauritiushof 1000 Eimerberg Riesling Federspiel 2008, 750 mlfrom Gritsch Mauritiushof (View all)
A classic Federspiel showing the cool finesse of Spitz. The aromas of white peach, ripe apricot and blackcurrant are beautifully supported by the dark slate-tones. Glistening, very direct and wonderfully appealing interplay of fruit and acidity. Light on its feet, this elegantly mineral potation gets you eagerly anticipating the next glass. -description from Father Hans Denk, the wine priest.
|Bottle size (ml)||750 ml|
|Residual Sugar||4.0 g/l|
|Cellar potential||Optimal from May 2009 to the end of 2011 but will keep.|
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Winery Gritsch Mauritiushof, located in the Wachau region of Austria, is named for the family Gritsch who now own the property and for the beautiful old building there called “Mauritiushof.” This house stands in the heart of the town of Spitz and dates back to the 13th century when it was used by monks to collect the local grapes. We can’t tell you when the monks moved out (perhaps during one of the Turkish campaigns of 1529 or 1683?) but we can tell you that the Gritsch family arrived in 1799 and began pressing those grapes into wine.
Franz-Josef Gritsch is taking over the helm from his father after having attended the famous wine-school in Krems and then working some years at the winery of Josef Leberl. He is now at the ripe old age of 25 and his production of 20-to-30,000 bottles sells out every year.
The wine is harvested manually in several phases beginning in October and running right through November. Pure yeast cultures are added to the juice to support the fermentation, which happens in steel tanks. The wine is then aged in barrels until bottling starts, usually by the beginning of May. Franz-Josef tries to keep the process as natural as possible in order to obtain a fresh and fruity character. This is, he says, of “utmost importance.”
“The credo of our winemaking is the constant search for the best quality. To be a winemaker in this unique landscape has a strong heritage, and is a great challenge.”
The Wachau is one of 8 "sub-areas" in Lower Austria. The other 7 are Kremstal, Kamptal, Danubelands, Traisental, Carnuntum, Weinvertel, and Thermenregion. Calling this region "lower Austria" may seem counter-intuitive to most. The four main wine regions of Austria are all in the eastern half of the country, and lower Austria is the northernmost. One generally equates "North" with "upper", but not here. The explanation given is that it has to do with altitude and not latitude. Of course, while it is at a lower altitude than Styria and Vienna, it is not as low as Burgenland. Go figure.
The Wachau is perhaps the best known of the 8 sub-regions. There are 3500 acres of vines, mostly Gr?ner Veltliner and Riesling, planted in a soil of weathered primary rock, granite and slate on the steeply terraced vineyards above and sand and loess on the slope of the hills below. The area also grows Neuburger, Gelber Muskateller, Sauvignon Blanc, M?ller-Thurgau and Chardonnay. The regional association "Vinea Wachau Nobilis Districtus" acts as a kind of DOC police for this area, labeling the wines under three classifications: Steinfeder (light, young and racy), Federspiel (elegant and with body), and Smaragd (very ripe and powerful). "Smaragd" literally means emerald, and is a reference to the color of the small lizards that run amok in the vines here. For more specifics on these classifications, see types of wines.
The Wachau's proximity to the Danube, which winds lazily past like some great fat serpent, adds to the amazing beauty of this place. In the spring the steep rising hills are a lush bright green and the apricot trees blossom madly. In the fall these hills seem almost ablaze with the turning leaves of the vineyards.