16th August 2021
A historic winery in Langenlois in the Kamptal
Michael and Rudolf Junior: The Twins
The Sax estate may have roots going back to 1660, but it’s now a smart and modern operation, albeit shoehorned into the typical Austrian footprint of a long, thin site just off the main square in Langenlois in the heart of the Kamptal wine region. Identical twin brothers Michael and Rudolf Sax began to assume control of their family estate and winery in 2008 at the age of 18, when father Rudolf senior was laid up with a leg injury. Hugely energetic and charming, they are making their mark within Austria. “As sons of winegrowers, we were born with viticulture. It was probably no coincidence that a vineyard was planted on the day we were born, which has been called the Zwillingslauser (which translates as the naughty twins) ever since…”
The Vineyards and Wines
The family own about 30 hectares of vineyards (and farm a further 30) in the Kamptal, just north-west of Vienna, a historic wine-producing region highly regarded for Grüner Veltliner, Austria’s signature white grape. The climate here is perfect for growing aromatic grapes, with hot sunny days leavened by nights cooled by breezes from the Waldviertel to the northwest. The twins make a wide range, almost all vinified in stainless steel and bottled under screwcap to exhibit freshness; and we know from tasting older vintages how well they keep.
As their vineyards are so dispersed around the town of Langenlois, with varied aspects, altitudes and bedrock under the prevailing loess soils, the Gruner Veltliners and Rieslings from single vineyards (= Ried) are fascinatingly distinctive.