Despite his lean and youthful appearance, the engaging and welcoming Willi Bründlmayer has been at the helm of this family estate for 40 years. As a young man, it wasn’t his intention to be a winemaker, but he was called back to the estate in order to ensure its survival.
The winery is located in Langenlois, the main town of the Kamptal region, and his 80ha of vineyards mostly lie nearby. It’s a versatile region, with a range of terroirs and microclimates, and this has allowed Bründlmayer to establish a wide offering, from a series of impeccable sparkling wines, to classics from Grüner Veltliner and Riesling, to surprisingly successful red wines from an area not especially renowned for them. The barrel-fermented Chardonnay can be one of Austria’s best. And there’s icing on the cake too: delectable ice wines in appropriate vintages such as 2016, and I recall a magnificent Riesling TBA from 2009.
Bründlmayer would be the first to admit that the quality and age of his vineyards are central to his reputation. Grüner Veltliner is the main variety here, and his top vineyards are Käferberg and Lamm, in which the clay and loess soil can result in wines of high ripeness and power. Lamm is located on the eastern slopes of the celebrated Heiligenstein, and it’s a warm site that requires a watchful eye to ensure the grapes don’t overripen. There is also an Alte Reben (old-vine) bottling made from vines at least 50 years old.