There is a breath of fresh air blowing through Mitterarnsdorf. This is owed in equal measure to Karl Schütz junior and to Karl Schütz senior. The latter allows his son, who studies viticulture in Geisenheim, to test out his many new ideas, and remains remarkably relaxed in the process. For example, the two of them are currently experimenting with ‘intensive tillering’, which means that there is only a 55cm gap between each vine, which, they hope, will render their wines more concentrated.
Unlike everyone else in the Wachau, the two Karls designate their wines not according to terraces, but according to geological formations: one consequently reads ‘heavy loess’ rather than Poigen on the labels, ‘sand’ rather than Stiegelstal, or ‘stone’ rather than Trauntal. In addition, they list the grape varieties – most frequently Grüner Veltliner, but also Riesling, Muskateller, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and the very special Frühroter Veltliner. They are the only ones who cultivate and turn the grape into a Smaragd version on the right side of the Danube.
They also make a rich Veltliner from old vines, which is fermented and kept in stainless steel tanks in order to further emphasize the clarity of the fruit notes. Their Heurigen opens twice a year and it is highly recommended.