Alex Zahel's grandfather started this family estate in 1930 with one small plot, near Vienna. Alex, fourth generation Zahel, is the current owner and winemaker. He travelled and made wine in Australia and New Zealand before returning to join the family business in 2005. His uncle, aunt, grandmother and wife make up most of the small family team, everybody is fully involved.
They now have 20 hectares in Lower Austria and 25 hectares in the city of Vienna, which can make harvest time logistically tricky. They specialise in this Gemischter Satz wine, which is a field blend, and was traditionally produced in the area to spread the risk for the grower at harvest time. Now, each variety is vinified to get the best out of it, and this specific wine is a complex blend of nine varieties.
We have managed to get a small amount of a back vintage, 2017, from their single vineyard Kaasgraben. The vines are 66 years old, the wine is not fined or filtered, it is made very naturally. The principal varieties are Chardonnay, Riesling, Gruner Veltliner and Rotgipfler. This is a big wine! It's rich, opulent, spicy and has a long finish, this would stand up to most food.