This cuvée is from a very old and well known vineyard in Krems, from which Rainer Wess acquired a parcel in 2013. He now cultivates just under one half a hectare of un-grafted, 60 year old Gruner Veltliner vines in the Weinzierlberg. The site is located between the town of Krems and the Wess winery.
The top soil is pure sand; that is how vines could survive ungrafted (wurzelecht). Geologically, it is the easternmost “Wachau” site because it’s the first cru in Krems which has Gneiss as its subsoil. Other Krems vineyards to the east have a gravel, slate or other soil type, but no primary rock. Due to the age of the vines and also because the vineyard is not irrigated, the roots penetrate deeply to the rocks and yields are lower than in other Krems vineyards.
The 2015 Weinzierlberg Gruner Veltliner was picked on October 23rd by hand. The grapes were healthy and fully ripe. After maceration with the stems (cold soak) over 10 hours, the grapes were gently pressed and fermented in a 1200 liter acacia and oak wood cask. The wine was aged on its fine lees for 8 months before bottling, about one half in the wood cask, and half in a stainless steel tank. Wess bottled 125 cases in June, 2016.
The combination of two soil types – sand over primary rock – and the low-yielding old Gruner Veltliner vines give this wine a silky texture and expressively generous fruit (from the sand) underpinned by structure and minerality (from the Gneiss subsoil).
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