My First Time Exploring Welschriesling

Today’s Story: Weingut Werlitsch

Weingut Werlitsch is a relatively small family-owned and operated wine estate and farm located in southern Styria in Austria. Viticulture and winemaking are spearheaded by Ewald Tscheppe, who took over this family property at the age of 26. Though the Tscheppe family had been involved in winemaking and farming for generations, Ewald is part of a newer generation making exciting, complex, and long-lived wines while advocating for biodynamic viticulture and minimally invasive winemaking.

The estate consists of about 18 hectares (44 acres) with roughly 12.5 hectares (31 acres) planted to vineyards and the balance dedicated to the winery, forests, pastures, and gardens. Weingut Werlitsch is certified biodynamic, and practically all of the vineyard work is done by hand thanks to the very steep slopes that make up the property. The vineyards are planted predominantly to Sauvignon Blanc and Morillon (a biotype of Chardonnay), though Ewald also grows Welschriesling. All fruit is hand-harvested, experiences slow pressing, and goes through fermentation only with native yeasts. Élevage is in large barrels and Austrian foudres, and the wines typically age for a minimum of 18 months but may see as long as 36 months. Bottling is accomplished with the wines unfiltered, and no SO2 is added unless absolutely necessary.

I previously wrote about the 2017 Glück, 2017 Ex Vero I, and 2017 Freude from Weingut Werlitsch so feel free to revisit those notes to get a better feel for their portfolio!

Today’s Wine: 2018 Welschriesling vom Opok

100% Welschriesling; 12% ABV

The 2018 Welschriesling vom Opok is medium gold in color. Given some time to open up in the glass, the aromas are of medium (+) intensity with the nose showcasing notes of ripe yellow apple, lemon zest, honeysuckle, savory green herbs, shaved ginger, dried pine, and wet stone. Meanwhile the flavors are of medium intensity and the palate displays notes of mango, yellow apple, a hint of pineapple juice, lemon, ginger, white wildflower, and limestone. This dry white is light- to medium-bodied with high acidity, medium alcohol, and a medium (+) length finish. This is my first ever Welschriesling, and is definitely a fun one to start with.

Price: $30. I think this is reasonably priced given its quality, complexity, and balance though I do prefer some of the other Werlitsch bottlings if I had to pick. The Ex Vero I was outstanding for around the same price or a few dollars more, and I loved both the Glück and Freude though they come in at a much higher price-point around $50.

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