Wieninger, a surname meaning “Man from Vienna,” is the leading wine producer in Vienna, a city with over 600 hectares of vines and the only European capital to have its own wine appellation. The Wieninger winery is located on the outskirts of Vienna in the 21st district, home to many of the city’s heurigen (wine taverns) and home to the famed Bisamberg hill, where vines have been cultivated since Roman times. Fourth generation Fritz Wieninger is a champion of Gemischter Satz (pronounced Geh-mish-ter Sah-ts), a field blend and the traditional heurigen wine. He is also a member of Respekt, a certifying body for biodynamic viticulture in Austria.
LOCATION OF VINEYARD
Vienna’s vineyards are concentrated in the 19th and 21st of the city’s 23 districts. The Bisamberg area, located in the 21st, has sandy loess over limestone, and is the source for many of Fritz’s wines including Grüner Veltliner Herrenholz and Gemischter Satz Bisamberg Alte Reben. Fritz’s other important area is the Nußberg which lies across the Danube in the 19th district. Nußberg soars to 181 meters above Vienna and has sandy or gravelly clay soils with chalk below. Fritz produces a range of wines from this site, including the Gemischter Satz Nußberg Alte Reben and the Gemischter Satz Rosengartl Alte Reben, a prized single-vineyard within the Nußberg.
Fritz Wieninger grew up in the family heuriger serving the wines produced by his mother who was one of the first female graduates from the enology program at Klosterneuberg. After completing his studies and spending a year in California he returned to Vienna intent on producing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. He was encouraged by the elders to continue growing what was then unfashionable Gemischter Satz, a traditional field blend of up to 20 varietals co-planted and co-fermented together. “At first,” Fritz said, “I didn’t know what they were talking about,” but later he saw the beauty of the everyday wine of the heuriger.