Just recently, we dived into a bottle of MALAT Weingut & Hotel Grüner Veltliner from the single vineyard site “Höhlgraben.” Named in the 17th century, this site has been producing distinctive Grüner Veltliner for 50 years or more.
Upon recently tasting the 2017 vintage, we noticed the snappy minerals and acids we’ve come to know from Malat’s finely structured wines. The mid-palate of this wine, however, showed a bit of roundness and texture that hinted at its upbringing in loess soil. Beautiful!
Deep loess soils on the south side of the Danube River where Michael Malat and family farm the majority of their vineyards provide a favorable environment for their Grüner Veltliner vines. The Malats dry farm, meaning that they farm without using irrigation, and the roots of their vines benefit from the quartz-rich loess. Since loess remains compact when dry yet can erode if too wet; dry farming is the perfect adaptation.
Since this type of soil is windburn, you can find deposits of loess all over the world. Some other famous vineyard lands that are known for loess can be found in the Hungary, Germany, and Oregon.
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