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A grand sweep of vineyards down to the valley floor and the thin blue line of the Neusiedler See. Marvelling at the view is Brett Jones, on the right. About to take a photo is Amy Lillard of French wine estate La Gramière and on the left is Leopold Sommer whose vineyard lies behind us.

neusiedlersee panorama

After posing for the obligatory bloggers-snap with his father Leopold gave us a tour of the winery – proudly showing the new building work (completed in 2008) housing new tanks and so on, that run on from the original cellars. Established in 1698 the estate is small, just 30 hectares, but the new planting of Gewurztraminer he took us up the hill to inspect continues the expansion. The slate dominated soils at the top of the hill with its perfect exposure were only recently cleared of scrub and woodland having proved that there was a vineyard here 80 odd years ago. Our tour included a tank sampling session including a Muskateller that Leo was disappointed in (I forget the specifics, something about the acidity I believe) and a rather impressive – as much as my untrained-in-the-art-of-tank-sampling palate could deduce – Sauvignon Blanc.

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Visiting a winery is never complete without a proper sampling of the latest releases. Their reserve Grüner Veltliner captivated me above the others. Sommer Gruner Veltliner Leithberg Reserve 2009 [Adegga / Snooth] had that characteristic streak of mineral freshness coupled with a complexity from a little barrel aging adding much to the depth of flavour and the lemon and pepper base. An elegant, long finish too. Alcohol 13.5%.

With borrowed camera the photos haven’t turned out to badly. A little fiddling and I also managed to capture a few minutes of video, back on that steep hill…



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Weingut Sommer
7082 Donnerskirchen
Johannesstrasse 26

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