Deep in the Wachau, Austria's famed wine region known for Gruner-Veltliner and Riesling, Peter Veyder-Malberg is recovering lost parcels in the Spitzer Graben, the highest, coolest spot of the region. Hailed as a magician by many who are lucky enough to know his wines, Peter makes tiny quantities from these stunning sites. Here he explains the history, location and geology of his Brandstatt Vineyard that he has carved out of the side of a mountain.
Brandstadt is a vineyard in the most western part of Wachau called the Spitzer Graben.
Brandstatt means "the place where they made fire in former times for communication reasons." This is related to the site’s elevation and visibility - fires lit on this site were visible up and down this part of the Valley.
Peter Veyder Malberg acquired the site in 2009. It is about half a hectare in size.
The site was cleaned up and the walls were rebuilt by hand, stone by stone, over the course of two years.
The soil is perfect for Riesling, with a very good drainage and a lack of moisture that prevents botrytis. Peter despises botrytis.
The site is always a little bit windy, which helps prevent disease and allows Peter to avoid the use of chemicals.
The site is oriented south and is one of the coolest areas of the Wachau.
Brandstadt is quite high in altitude, around 400-450 meters high.
Peter Veyder Malberg uses some skins when fermenting Brandstadt Riesling, and then ages it in acacia barrels made by Stockinger for over a year.
Peter feels that the site is as or more important than the varietal here.