The Sausal region, which stretches around the South-Styrian village of Kitzeck, ranks among Austria’s most historical winegrowing areas. The vineyards are planted at altitudes of 380 to 650 meters above sea level. With an average steepness of up to 80%, they belong to Europe’s steepest vineyard sites. Wohlmuth’s most important single-vineyard sites – Altenberg, Edelschuh, Gola, Sausaler Schlössl, Einöd and Steinriegel – have been rated amongst Styria’s premium single vineyards since the 14th century.
Southern Styria is Austria´s most southern wine-growing region and is influenced by the illyric climate. Through the interplay of the warm climate from the Adriatic Sea and the cool winds from the very near Alps, there exist big temperature differences between day and night, which brings very rich and complex flavors into the wines.
The soils in the Sausal mountains differ strongly from those along the South Styrian Wine Route, frequently characterized by calciferous deposits – originated from million-year-old primordial oceans and formed by remains of corals, algae or shells. The Sausal has never come into contact with sea water and the soil in those higher regions is mostly composed of red, grey and black slate. This uniqueness is reflected in the wines, that often exhibit a saline character, dinstinctive minerality and spicy notes.
Since 1803 the Wohlmuth family has been dedicated to the cultivation of wine. The estate is now run by Maria and Gerhard as well as their son, Gerhard Jr. and his wife Marion. Respect for nature, uncompromising aspiration to quality and sustainability are the fundamentals of their work. Year after year, every single operation is performed by experienced hands, from pruning to picking. In the vineyards, the key elements are soil management and the encouragement of natural predators to control vine pests. Depending on the variety, yields range between 3200 and 4500 liters per hectare. As harvest approaches, the optimum picking date for bringing in physiologically ripe fruit is discussed by the whole family. Several manual picks are made to select berries unaffected by rot – the overall prerequisite for producing razor-sharp whites. The fruit is then taken in small boxes to the press house, where they are handled very carefully. Depending on the variety, the quality of the berries and the vintage, the family makes decisions in regards to destemming, whole-bunch pressing, maceration time (from no skin contact to a few hours), in order to obtain optimum quality. It goes without saying that the gentle and careful handling of the crop is essential in every phase of the vinification. The wines are vegan.
Wohlmuth is a synonym for outstanding rich and complex wines, which express the special terrain of Kitzeck: steep slopes, schist soil and a microclimate with a great variation in temperature. Gerhard Wohlmuth is an enthusiastic, nationally and internationally trained winemaker, who has succeeded year after year in producing award winning wines on national and international level. He was awarded “Austrian’s Winemaker of the Year 2001” and won the “International Pinot Gris Trophy 2007” at the International Wine Challenge in London.