The region of Kamptal is without a doubt the most popular and successful wine region in Austria. It takes its name from the river Kamp, which flows through this picturesque region.
If you love a fresh, delicately aromatic white wine, then welcome to your new go-to region !
HOW TO PRONOUNCE IT?
WHERE IS KAMPTAL?
Kamptal is a fairly small region, located in the north East of Austria, roughly an hour’s drive from Vienna (it’s maybe worth the detour when you next Visit Vienna?).
WHAT ARE THE MAIN GRAPE VARIETIES OF KAMPTAL?
The region is overwhelmingly known for Riesling and Grüner Veltliner, the national grape variety of Austria.
For both these varieties, the region recently acquired the legal status of DAC (a designation similar to AOP or DOC for Austria).
Grüner Veltliner accounts for roughly 60% of the region’s production and is largely to thank for its rise to fame.
Some red grapes are also planted but this represents a small minority.
WHAT IS THE HERITAGE OF KAMPTAL?
While we may recently have started drinking Austrian wines, there are traces of vineyards dating as far back as 2,000 years.
The region was formerly known as Kamptal– Donauland and the name was simplified to simply “Kamptal” in 1993.
WHAT ARE THE DOMINANT FEATURES OF THE REGION?
The region is very mountainous, and most vineyards are either planted on steep slopes, or on terraces. This was formed by the river Kampt slowly digging its way through ancient rock formations, creating the valley overtime.
The climate is rather hot, but the nights are cold, which create ideal condition for growing grapes.
The heat allows the fruit to mature, and the cool nights prevent the plant from burning, and allow the grapes to retain some acidity.
There is a diversity of soils throughout the region, which creates a diversity of nuances in the wines, which is partly why the region is so interesting to discover.
WHAT ARE THE WINES LIKE?
The most popular style, and the most readily available outside of Austria is of dry, mineral, wines with a great acidity. Grüner Veltliner (the most popular grape in the region) will typically show notes of grapefruit, green apple, citrus fruit, and sometimes even hints of white pepper.
The wines are medium bodied, and can have great length, and in my opinion are some of the most underrated white wines available at the moment.
WHAT TASTES SIMILAR?
You may also want to try dry Rieslings, either from Kamptal of course, which will have similar profile, albeit more aromatic, or dry Rieslings from Alsace or Germany.
WHAT FOOD TO PAIR WITH KAMPTAL WINES?
Kamptal whites are great aperitif wines. Fresh and aromatic, they open the appetite and their complexity can be fully appreciated.
They are also great wines for a large array of starters and salads: goat’s cheese salad, Caesar salad, Waldorf salad and many more. They will also be great accompaniments to vegetarian dishes, such as vegetable tarts.
Grilled fish will also work beautifully with these wines, and so will light seafood dishes (grilled squid, octopus or oysters).
FIVE TO TRY:
- Weingut Eichinger :Grüner Veltliner Wechselberg, Kamptal DAC, Austria.
- Schloss Gobelsburg : Grüner Veltliner Langenlois 2015, Kamptal DAC, Austria.
- Weingüt Gobelsburg : Zöbing Riesling 2015, Kamptal DAC, Austria.
- Weingut Jurtschitsch : Grüner Veltliner Löss 2016, Kamptal DAC, Austria.
- Rabl Winery : Grüner Veltliner 2012 , Kamptal DAC, Austria.