The Original Leading-Edge
The Malat Winery, located on the south bank of the Danube River in the Kremstal districtus of Austria, has been producing exceptional wines since 1722. Ninth generation winemaker Michael has continued this tradition, taking over the fifty hectare estate from his pioneering father Gerald in 2008. Michael studied horticulture in Vienna and developed his mastery of viticulture internationally. If you can’t find him on the estate, you might find him waterskiing on the Danube.
Known for their excellence in sparkling wine or Sekt, with Gerald producing the first Austrian Estate-Bottled Brut Sekt in 1976, the Malat Estate excels in crafting top quality wines of all categories: white, red, sweet and sparkling. While others may wane, the Malat Winery continues its pursuit of perfection and evolves with the times while keeping an eye on its rich past. Vineyard sites are hand-worked, with organic and sustainable practices integral to the winemaking process. Most recently, Crazy Creatures, a fun entry-level Grüner Veltliner was added to the delicious Malat collection, a fresh addition to a historic line. A modern boutique hotel, opened in 2012, offers guest rooms and dining situated directly upon the beautiful vineyards of this historic and prestigious estate.
Situated on both banks of the Danube River, the Kremstal DAC is nestled between the famous Wachau wine growing region to the southwest and the notable Kamptal region to the northeast. These three regions make up the most prestigious wine growing area in all of Austria.
With climatic conditions similar to the Wachau, if only slightly warmer, the Kremstal benefits from the easterly warm winds of the Pannonian basin and cool, humid breezes from the Waldviertal forest to the north. These weather patterns are influenced by the almighty Danube, whose effects help to mitigate the hot days and soften the harsh winters, creating the unique microclimate found in the Kremstal. The Malat Estate, itself, sits on the south bank of the Danube, across the river from the historic wine town of Krems, and at the foot of the historic Göttweiger Berg. Soil types in the Malat vineyards are varied with the most important Erste Lage sites of Gottschelle, Steinbühl, and Silberbichl composed of löss-covered sandy, loam, to limestone primary rock, to löss covered old Danube gravel with mica schist inclusions, respectively.
This video from our friends at Candid Wines gives us a quick overview of the single vineyards of the Malat Estate with Michael Malat.
The Sekt Saga
Gerald Malat made history by producing the first Austrian Estate-Bottled Brut Sekt in 1976 defying established laws at the time, which forbade smaller houses from producing sparkling wine without a trade commission. In Gerald’s landmark Supreme Court case, he argued winegrowers were much the same as farmers in that they did not need a trade commission to produce flour from their grain or timber from their trees. The Austrian Supreme Court agreed and changed legislation to allow estate produced sparkling wine. Atypical of many Austrian Sekt producers, the Malat Winery crafts their Sekt and Rosé Sekt in the méthode traditionnelle, using Chardonnay and Pinot Noir just as in Champagne. The wine is fermented in the bottle, laid down in the cellar, where they are hand riddled and eventually disgorged with no dosage. To this day the winery is one of the most well known and respected méthode traditionnelle producers with 20% of production dedicated to sparkling wine.
A great Sekt milestone was made in 2015 when a three-tier quality pyramid was established under leadership of the Austrian Sekt Committee to emphasize grape origin and maturation on lees.
Malat Crazy Creatures Grüner Veltliner is made from 100% Estate grown fruit. It is a mouth-watering introduction to Austria’s national grape variety and a whimsical extension to the serious line up of single vineyard wines Malat has become known for. With three collectible labels, designed by Michael himself, the wine has become an instant success, winning accolades for the unique labels as well as for the immediate drinkability, perfect for any occasion. (www.crazycreatures.at)