Kracher Neusiedlersee, Burgenland, Austria
Gerhart Kracher, Vintage 1981, Luis’ son, the winemaker.
Alois Kracher Jr (‘Luis’), Vintage 1959-2007.
A skilled chemist who worked for years in the pharmaceutical industry, Luis changed course in 1986, returning home to work in the vineyards. And he did it with zeal. He created a new style of dessert wine in which fruit, finesse, and balance are more important than just sweetness. With his 1991 vintage he became an international sensation. Today, Kracher is one of the most successful producers of sweet wines in the world. The wines are in a class all their own. Only rarely does a top Tokay or German sweet wine, even measure up to the recognition and acclaim Kracher wines receive at international wine tastings. Five times the respected British Wine Magazine named Alois Kracher ‘Wine Maker of the Year’: in 1994, 1997, 1999, 2000, and 2001
Alois Kracher Sr, Vintage 1928-2010
Luis called him ‘the real pioneer’. ‘He was the first in our family to realise the potential of the Seewinkel region for quality wine growing’, he said.
What makes the wines so special?
The “Seewinkel” is an area in the Burgenland region of western Austria, approximately 20 km wide, along the eastern shore of Lake Neusiedl. It is an immense plain, with countless shallow lakes of various sizes scattered throughout it. Most of these lakes, including the largest, Lake Neusiedl, are less than five feet deep. The continental climate brings hot dry summers and very cold winters. These extremes create a unique microclimate for viticulture. During cool autumn evenings, evaporation from the numerous lakes creates heavy fog, which covers the area until midday when the still strong sunlight burns through. This helps to create the necessary conditions for the formation of the noble rot “botrytis cinerea” which gives these wines the immense concentration and balance for the production of great sweet wines.
There are no secrets for the production of these remarkable wines, simply attention to all the many small details in both growing grapes with great flavour, and producing wines of great purity and balance. In the vineyard yields are kept incredibly low with each vine limited to just 3 bunches of grapes. In the cellar vinification is done either in small new oak for the “Nouvelle Vague” (“new wave”) wines, or in large old wood for the more traditional “Zwischen den Seen” (“between the lakes”) wines. Sulphur levels are kept to a minimum and there is no malolactic fermentation for the wines in order to maintain the high levels of natural acidity. In the best years a “Grande cuvee” TBA will be produced. This is the wine which Luis feels best expresses the character of the vintage and what he aims to achieve.
“The 2007 vintage can be compared to the 1998s made here, and once again the entire Kracher collection is of exceptional quality.” Tanzer