Climate and soils
A basis for the character of a wine is the combination of soil and climate. In Kamptal, this interaction is of particular finesse and variety. Because here we have to deal, on the one hand, equally with the three types of soil (bedrock, loess and clay) and, on the other hand, with a climate that is probably to be found in this constellation only in a few places on Earth. Typical of the around 200 to 300 metres high valley, there are hot days and cool nights in the summer and long sunny periods in autumn. These contrasting conditions give the Kamptal wines their unparalleled, crystal-clear, mineral character.
In principle, Kamptal is characterised by the contrast of the funnel flowing from the southeast – at the same warming – Pannonian influences and the Northwest trending chilly winds of the harsher Waldviertel. Even after hot days, these contrasts create a significant nocturnal cooling, which is responsible for the particularly fine aroma characteristic of the wine. The long growing season in Kamptal into late autumn gives the grapes a chance to reach their physiological maturity. Annual rainfall of about 550 mm and a mean annual temperature of nine degrees Celsius can be considered as common parameters. In some dry hazardous locations, such as the famous Heiligenstein, a useful moisture distribution could be created using drip irrigation. In principle, much of the Kamptal area is protected from strong cold winds to the north by the plateau of the Waldviertel and to the North East by the border of the wine district forming Manhartsberg.
The geological conditions in Kamptal could hardly be more diverse. On the one hand, from the West the rocks of the Bohemian Massif push up, first and foremost Gföhl gneiss and Mica-schist, but also bedrock weathered soils that are covered in part only with a thin coating of humus. They are just like the extremely rare, weathered desert sandstone from the Permian, which dominates the heart of Heiligenstein, an almost ideal partner for top-class Rieslings. However, Grüner Veltliner thrives there just as well as on the gravel soils on the slopes of Manhartsberg or the partly massive loess deposits that characterise the southern borders of the wine region.