Austria’s top Gemischter Satz wines

Fritz Wieninger's Nussberg vineyard in Vienna – the only city in the world to have a wine designation of origin within its boundaries (Photo: Respekt-Biodyn)

Recently the drinks business reported on the growing trendiness of what, for most of its history, has been a distinctly untrendy wine: Gemischter Satz.

While Gemischter Satz only has a small presence yet in the UK – Austrian specialist Newcomer Wines imports some, while Liberty Wines recently signed up to distribute Weingut Wieninger Gemischter Satz in the UK – there is reported to be a buzz around the traditional Austrian field blend wine in countries as far afield as Japan, the US and the Netherlands.

Gemischter Satz is most commonly associated with Vienna, where it has enjoyed DAC (Districtus Austriae Controllatus) status since 2013. This was the first time Austria had recognised a wine style rather than a geographical region for DAC status.

Gemischter Satz status now accounts for a quarter of Viennese vineyards, and that number is growing, according to Fritz Wieninger, of featured winery Weingut Wieninger.

There are around 200 commercial Gemischter Satz producers in Austria, plus a large number of very small, hobbyist producers who have up to half a hectare to make wine for their own heurige (wine tavern).

Vineyards in the Wiener Gemischter Satz DAC must include at least three quality white grape varieties, which must be planted together, and must be listed as Wiener Gemischter Satz in the vineyard land registry.

The first grape variety must constitute no more than 50% of the blend, and the third at least 10%. The wine must be dry, no more than 12.5% abv and should not have a ‘strongly recognisable expression’ of wood.

Single vineyard wines made under the DAC must be at least 12.5% ABV, do not have to be dry and cannot be released until 1 March in the year after harvest.

Fritz Wieninger is probably the most vocal ambassador – and one of the most exciting producers – of Gemischter Satz. He is clear about the wine’s value for the Vienna region: “This is the wine of the Viennese,” he explains. “When they had guests from anywhere out of town they ordered a bottle of Gemischter Satz because this is our wine. Today it is our identity and our best-selling thing.”

As producers continue to dial up the quality and transform the image of what was, not so long ago, an unfashionable jug wine, db presents in the pages that follow its top five Austrian Gemischter Satz producers…

One Response to “Austria’s top Gemischter Satz wines”

  1. Helen says:

    Where can i buy gemischter sat white wine from Vienna Austria.

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