The site is steep, extremely steep. Whoever cultivates it, must expect to reach the limits of his abilities.
The slope in question is the vineyard site of Atzberg, the record of which goes back to 1328 as "Ärzberg." Franz-Josef Gritsch of the wine-growing estate Mauritiushof in Spitz in Lower Austria has embraced it. The original impetus came from Hans Denk, the "Wine-Priest" of Albrechtsberg, who also inspired the dynamic wine-grower to join forces with two partners and contributors of the necessary financial and commercial support: Hans Schmid, owner of the traditional Viennese winery Mayer am Pfarrplatz, and Robert Wutzl, former board member of Schlumberger, Austria's largest sparkling wine producer. Together, the three form the protagonists of the newly created winery Atzberg.
The vineyard sites of Singerriedel and Atzberg are said to have formed a geological unity until the Miesling river separated the two. The soil is rich in ores (red rock with gneiss, a slate structure and sparse soil cover). The towering and narrow stone terraces impede the use of machinery. Any cultivation can take place only by hand.
Two hectares of vineyards that had been lying idle for decades, have now been re-cultivated with considerable effort, and planted with Grüner Veltliner vines. 2012 saw the first vintage. A profoundly impressive wine has emerged that carries the "Soul of the Wachau" - an amalgamation of the spectacular Veltliner spice with dark slate echos of the terroir, unique to this traditional Austrian wine-growing region. Franz-Josef Gritsch is convinced, "that these unique conditions of soil and climate can produce the best of white wines."