Austrian wine producer Gerhard Kracher has just released his first Spätlese wine -the Kracher Spätlese 2008.

Kracher, who now runs the Laubenhof wine estate, made famous by his father, the late sweet wine legend Alois Kracher, has made the wine using a blend of Pinot gris, Welschriesling and Muskat Ottonel grapes.

This new producation fulfils Kracher´s wish to revive the spätlese style throughout the Seewinkel area along the eastern shore of Lake Neusiedl, in Austria´s Burgenland region.

‘Historically, spätlese was the main wine produced in this area,’ says 28-year-old Kracher. ‘My grandfather was making it in the late 1950s. And later, so was my father, until he became famous for his Beerenauslesen and Trockenbeerenauslesen wines. Now, this is the first Kracher spätlese in 15 years.’

Spätlese, the lightest – in terms of grape sugar level – of Austria´s late harvest wine styles, fell out of favour in Seewinkel in the early 1990s as more and more producers there followed Alois Kracher´s lead and captured international success with their sweeter, weightier BA and TBA wines.

‘My spätlese has two thirds less residual sugar than my BA wines,’ adds Kracher. ‘It has sweetness, but drinks lightly and has a fresh fruit character.’

Kracher has produced 12, 000 bottles of the new spätlese, and plans to make a version from every future vintage.

Written by Darrel Joseph in Vienna