The Kremstal region, with its longer ripening period than neighbouring Kamptal or the Wachau, is being recognised for relatively lighter, yet intense, complex and racy whites from the premier Austrian varieties, Grüner Veltliner and Riesling.
The gorgeous, fresh, moderate alcohol and lively wines Martin Nigl produces are leading examples of the region, although the more primary soil types in the Nigl vineyards are more similar to those of the Wachau than much of Kremstal. So with the added moderating effect of the overlooking Senftenberg Hill, the fresh and highly strung Nigl style is perhaps no surprise.
Martin Nigl is a calm character and his wines reflect this. The vineyards are very sustainably maintained – and have been for a long time – and Martin even avoids the use of copper sprays. In the winery, the wines ferment in stainless steel, from ambient yeasts and get only two rackings, natural settling and no fining agents. The bottling is even done at night. All this is aimed at preserving vineyard character. The leading vineyard sites on the slopes under the ruins of the 12th century Senftenberg Castle, Hohacker, Kirchenberg, Pellingen and Piri, each produce wines of distinct personalities, based on aspect, altitude and the variations on the base of lean loess soils. In the village of Krems are another set of vineyards, some over 75 years old, which produce Grüner Veltliner wines of greater texture and richness.
‘Gartling’ is the label which contains the wines of younger (i.e. under 25 year old) vineyards and the brilliant ‘Kremser Freiheit’ is a selection of three of the Krems village vineyards which are picked early for maximum freshness.
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