It has been quite warm and beautiful last week, with greatly anticipated temperatures reminding us that Summer is coming and this endless winter has finally come to an end. Therefore, what a better choice to welcome the arrival of the sun than a crisp, lightly fizzy Austrian Grüner Veltliner called “Summerer”?
“Summerer” is the name of a wine brand coming from the eponymous winery located in the Kamp-valley area, northern Austria. The Summerer estate vineyards surround the town of Langenlois, located in the district of Krems-Land in the Austrian state of lower Austria. Famous for its wine production, Langenlois is also home to the Loisium, a centre celebrating and advertising the local wine, built by the American deconstructionist architect Steven Holl.
A farmer-family, the Summerer settled in the wine-city of Langenlois in 1679 and underwent change along the decades through the commitment of every succeeding generation. Alfred Summerer, father to the present owner, lead former mixed farming to genuine winegrowing. Together with his wife Charlotte he laid the foundations of a top-grade winegrowing estate, which has been trading internationally for some years now.
Walking into their ancestors steps and traditions, Rupert and Elizabeth Summerer have dedicated their entire souls to the 20 hectares of land that they have tended since they fully involved themselves in the estate in 1997.
Elisabeth quit her job at the bank to take full responsibility for administration and marketing, leaving Rupert the opportunity to focus exclusively on his wines and grapes. Fully supported by his wife, Rupert has been deeply dedicated to establish among his colleagues and in the whole industry his way of cultivating, the organic winegrowing.
Every vineyard in the world has its appeal but few have such the magnetic attraction to their caretakers as the vines do here. It is their livelihood, exercise field, meditation place, animal sanctuary, dog run and even pantry for their ceaseless culinary imaginations (only vegetarian ever!). It is their epicenter to commune with Nature. So, to that end, it is clear they would want to preserve and nurture it, organically, in cooperation with its vegetable and animal life.
Cover crop is planted for soil health as well as attractants for animal and microbial activity. There is no thought of chemical treatments. They produce vines that will then keep themselves healthy, because they are in harmony with all life. They carry this ethos to the cellar as well. Why ruin a perfectly grown grape? Here, their instruction from nature allows for harmony of the traditional and modern world.
The wine makes itself, spontaneously fermenting, but is guided by temperature controlled steel vats, a gentle pneumatic press and a CO2 system for bottling. This preserves the purity and spirit of the grapes, to make, as Rupert calls, his "wines of character". The character stems from a mix of complex soils and the mix of warm sun and cool nights. This is a magical land, ruled by bio-equality, which reveals itself in every bottle the Summerers produce.
Three typical grapes of the Kamp-Valley area dominate the estate’s 20 hectares (about 50 acres): Riesling, Zweigelt and of course Grüner Veltliner, which accounts for almost 60 percent of total wine production and has become the pride of Austria’s producers. The Summerer produces various wines from these 3 different grapes and also various vineyards with specific characteristics, including the “Steinhaus” vineyard for the wine of today.
Organic winegrowing profoundly practiced and praised: Nature to the Summerers is a pure energy-supplier. They are aware, that in the long run only a healthy environment can positively affect the grapes, the wine, and the people and therefore they do pay acute attention to the machining system, its features and its scale (which is actually kept at a minimum). The highest principle in the wine cellar is to manipulate as little as possible the grapes and their juice – and only with the utmost care. Safe and as a whole, the white wine grapes arrive at the press, where slowly and gently they are freed from their juice. The result is a clear, fine filigree fruit: A distinctive mark of genuine Summerer style. As with the more sumptuous wines, here too special emphasis is placed on the grape variety, especially Grüner Veltliner.
Grüner Veltliner: Occasionally offering peppery and spicy notes, a good amount of fruitiness, yet usually dry and crisp, Grüner Veltliner is the most important white grape variety grown in Austria, consisting of about a third of Austria’s total viticultural area. The quality spectrum of the Grüner Veltliner is sweeping, extending from light, effervescent wines that are best drunk young – as “Heuriger” – to Spätlese wines that are rich, complex and balanced between sweetness and acidity, thus ageing particularly well.
Steinhaus vineyard: The 40 centimeter thick topsoil consists of loamy and sandy clay in combination with gneiss and mica rocks. Via anciently opened volcanic cuts quite a few small stones managed to get to the surface. These stones and small rocks retain their daily dose of solar energy, and release it during the night, thus protecting the vines and helping the ripeness process. Like in the French Rhône Valley, this common phenomenon results in a particularly consistent maturation, which shapes that recognizable “goût de terroir”, and allows the wines to combine complexity and harmony with a nimble and playful attitude.
Made from 100% Grüner Veltliner from “Steinhaus” vineyard, composed of mostly clay with sandy loam and very rocky soils from volcanic activity, this wine was hand picked and naturally fermented in large stainless steel tank. It spent some times on its lees, which allows for more depth, complexity and character. It was bottled with CO2 to minimize the use of sulphur.
Behind the 2010 Summerer Grüner Veltliner “Steinhaus” pale, transparent yellow color with greenish-metallic reflects, persist tiny bubbles. The nose offers lots of mineral enhancing the citrus and white fruits aromas complemented with floral notes. The palate is very dry, fresh, cleansing, refreshing with vivid acidity, loads of minerals and white fruits with citrus hints sparkled with a light fizziness, making this wine aerial, pleasing, easy going and versatile. Great as an aperitif, it will pair well salad, light hors d’oeuvre, white river fish and even shellfish.
LeDom du Vin
Info mostly taken and partly edited from the winery website at www.summerer.at
and the importer website at
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