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Winery #80: Weingut Hiedler (Kamptal, Austria)

Our wine experience that took place at Weingut Hiedler in Austria’s Kamptal wine producing region began with the family's puppy greeting us at the front door! What a wonderful way to start a wine tasting during our Austria-Hungary-Slovakia Expedition! Dietmar Hiedler, our host for the experience, is part of the family’s fifth generation running the winery. Dietmar introduced us to his brother Ludwig, who’s responsible for wine production while Dietmar handles the remainder of the business. We really appreciated this opportunity to learn directly from those at the helm of the estate.

Dietmar began the experience in the tasting room with a historic overview of the family dating back to 1856 when Josef and Anna Hiedler decided to move away from the family’s leather tannery business and into grape growing and wine production. The family now owns 40 hectares (nearly 100 acres) of vineyards producing a wide range of grapes to include Austria’s signature grape varietal, Grüner Veltliner, as well as Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, and Pinot Noir. Dietmar then led us up to a courtyard that overlooks the Kamptal region, and he pointed out where the family’s vineyards are located among the hillsides. We really appreciated this geographic orientation before tasting the wines to gain a better perspective of the grapes' origins.

We asked Dietmar about the beautiful stone owls at the winery’s front entrance. The stone owls were a gift to his Great Grandfather in celebration of his 60th birthday. Looking carefully, one owl stands on grapes while the other on books. According to Dietmar, these owls depict the family’s dedication to the how wine unites nature, culture, intelligence, knowledge, and experience. The owl is prominently displayed on every bottle of Hiedler wine.

Returning to the wine tasting room, Dietmar explained to us how the family was one of the founding members of the Austrian wine producer organization, ÖTW (Österreichische Traditionsweingüter). Seventy-seven wineries now belong to the ÖTW, and similar to the German VDP, the ÖTW created a special single-vineyard ranking system that we also discussed in a prior Kamptal winery blog post. Our host mentioned that three percent of the single vineyards will eventually be classified as ÖTW GROSSE LAGE, similar to the Burgundy “Grand Cru” sites, potentially starting between 2025 and 2030. A great graphic of the quality pyramid can be found on the ÖTW’s website here. Needless to say, we know what will happen to the price per bottle when vineyards are reclassified to the ÖTW GROSSE LAGE ranking!

Our host poured us seven wines representing the family’s production line, explaining each wine’s method of production and origin of grapes. Reviewing our notes, it’s difficult to pick a favorite from the line-up as there were so many great wines. If we had to choose, our favorite would be the 2020 Grüner Veltliner Ried Kaeferberg 1.ÖTW. The white Grüner Veltliner grapes were harvested in 2020 from the Ried (vineyard) Kaeferberg. This vineyard is ranked among the top 15% of single vineyards in the region by the ÖTW, and thus carries the 1.ÖTW trademark representing the ERSTE LAGEN designation. Thanks to, you can discover the interactive map of the Kaeferber vineyard here. We found the wine to have yellow apple, pear, and orange fruit aromas along with hints of vanilla and bread, pointing towards oak barrel ageing and lees contact, respectfully. The wine showed a fantastically round mouthfeel and a long, pleasant finish. Dietmar confirmed that the wine aged for 16 months in new 500-liter French oak barrels, which are nearly double the size of a standard 225-liter Bordeaux and 228-liter Burgundy barrels. The larger the barrel, the lower wine volume to oak surface area ratio, and thus less oak-based aromas like vanilla, smoke, chocolate will be imparted in the wine during ageing. We are a big fan of this wine!

Check out the YouTube Video of our experience here.

Experience Rating: 3 Stars

Brodi's Rating: 2 Paws Up

Pet-Friendly: Yes

Experience Vibe: Private Experience, Formal Seated Tasting or Formal Standing Tasting

Reservations Needed: Yes

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