Austria is home to the Gruner Veltliner grape and Fred Loimer is one of its best winemakers. Fred owns 60 hectares around Langenlois, in the Kamptal region of lower Austria and the estate has produced only organic wines since 2006 and more recent experiments with biodynamics have proved very successful. The Loimer philoposhy is all-encompassing and constantly improving on ideas for sustainability, with the utmost respect for the environment and its people. Powerful stuff.
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Unlike many Austrian winemakers who go for an overly rich and sweet style, Fred gets full ripeness in the vineyard yet ferments to dryness, producing wines with zest and balance on the palate. Experimental techniques are never far from his mind, with white wines fermented on their skins, undergoing carbonic maceration or even fermenting Gruner in qvevris which are enormous clay jars buried in the ground (according to a 7,000 year old Georgian method no less).
The Kamptal valley is situated in eastern or 'lower' Austria, close to Vienna. The Kamp river feeds in to the Danube further downstream but it is on the wide slopes of the lower valley that you'll find vineyards, planted at between 200-400 metres above sea level. With hot summers and cold winters, grapes such as Gruner Veltliner and Riesling reign supreme.
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