Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Kamptal, named for the Kamp river that traverses it, is an austrian wine-growing region immediately north east of kremstal. Centred on the town of Langenlois and incorporating the nearby villages of Gobelsburg, Kammern, Legenfeld, and Zöbing, its diminutive perimeter is deceptive since an extremely high density of vineyards comprising 4,000 ha/9,800 acres represent more than 8% of Austrian vine acreage, third in regional size after the weinviertel and neusiedlersee. In common with the nearby wachau (of which it was once loosely considered part), the Kamptal shares that region’s wide diurnal temperature variation (see temperature variability) but with slightly less rain and greater vulnerability to frost—as well as its dominance of loess and old rocky soils occasionally intermingled with sand and gravel. But the Kamptal can boast even greater geological diversity, as witness the Permian sandstone that defines its best-known vineyard landmark, the massive, terraced Heiligenstein, arguably among the top 20 sites for Riesling the world. The nearby Gaisberg is this region’s other renowned vineyard for Riesling, which makes up 9% of Kamptal acreage, while in between those two, the gently sloping, loess-dominated Lamm is the region’s most famous site for Grüner Veltliner, which is planted on half of all Kamptal vineyard. Successful flirtations with other varieties are numerous, especially Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc (Weisser Burgunder), Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, St Laurent, and Zweigelt (on 14% of surface area). Known also for its density of ambitious, environmentally conscious growers, Kamptal has benefited from vintner Willi Bründlmayer’s status as a long-standing unofficial ambassador for Austrian wine as well as from the chairmanship of Austria’s traditionsweingüter by Michael Moosbrugger, a Bründlmayer protegé who has had responsibility for the monastic estate of Schloss Gobelsburg since 1996.