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Re-cap: Virtual Wine Tasting with Rainer Wess

In this Virtual Wine Tasting, we were privileged to have Owner Mr. Rainer Wess and his daughter Ms. Christina Wess walk us through the humble beginning of Rainer Wess.

Re-cap: Virtual Wine Tasting with Rainer Wess
It has always been Rainer Wess's dream to have his own name on his wine bottle. Despite not having a winery, cellar, or vineyard, he bought grapes anyway and began his own wine label differently from his competitors. In 2003, Rainer Wess started his own winery in the charming city of Krems, Austria, when his wines gained more popularity and needed a larger space

As of today, he owns 7 hectares of vines planted densely (6000 per hectare) on south-facing slopes. Taking over a 200-year-old monastery cellar and converting it into a gravity-flow winery was the beginning of his small-scale business. 

Re-cap: Virtual Wine Tasting with Rainer Wess

Contrary to international vineyards, the grape-growing area in Krems is very small and Gruner Veltliner is the main grape varietal grown. Gruner Veltliner can not only adapt to different soils but also produce different tastes, which is why Rainer finds it so appealing. Furthermore, Austria also happens to be a perfect place for Riesling to flourish, which Rainer grows along with a small plot of Pinot Noir

Re-cap: Virtual Wine Tasting with Rainer Wess
Rainer's success can be attributed to 3 secrets- using clean grapes that express their terroir, allowing his wines to rest before bottling, and using old vines called Alte Reben. Some of the vines used in Rainer’s Gruner Veltliner are more than 70 years old and he has no plans to replant any. Though older vines yield less fruit with each passing year, the wines produced with them have a unique texture and quality. Moreover, the vines may not always produce enough in a year, making the Gruner Veltliner more valuable.

Additionally, Austria's geographical location influences its grapes, as they differ between hilly areas, steep terraces, and flat lands, as well as their underlying soils. The success of Rainer's Riesling also owes much to its site- some of the vine roots have already penetrated deep into slate rocks, drawing nutrients and water from the ground. This harsh environment adds a punch to the Riesling's flavor. As Rainer's first plot of vineyard, Loibenburg has a special place in his heart since it was his first step towards his dream of making wine. He loves the lovely little bank of land adjacent to his Loibenburg plot, and being 440m above the bank contributes to the quality of the grapes. 

Re-cap: Virtual Wine Tasting with Rainer Wess

Did you know?
Traditionally, Germischter Satz is grown for insurance. Growing Gemistrat with 5-10 other varieties is common when farming treatments are not as developed. In the event that other varieties cannot be harvested, they fall back on Gemistrat, as the grapes are more resilient to changes in terroir. 
Even though Austria does not have a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) classification, Rainer shared how he classifies his own wines. It is his hope that more people will become interested in Austrian wines in order to revitalize Austria's PDO designation. 
Re-cap: Virtual Wine Tasting with Rainer Wess
With a bigger winery and more vineyards to tend, Rainer finds more satisfaction in creating wines rather than just buying grapes. Rainer has also been farming organically for the last 4-5 years and is working towards an organic certification. When it comes to harvest, he handpicks his grapes in order to avoid botrytis caused by the fog that surrounds his vineyards. It is also important to pick the Gruner Veltliner grapes before the Riesling in order to guarantee peak acidity and a slight mineral taste. Most of his grapes are then crushed in whole bunches and fermented in stainless steel tanks, which allows the bouquet to permeate the wine and not interfere with the fruit and the terroir.

Re-cap: Virtual Wine Tasting with Rainer Wess

Re-cap: Virtual Wine Tasting with Rainer Wess
As we experiment with different classes of Gruner Veltliner and Riesling in this Virtual Wine Tasting, it becomes clear how the soil affects the final taste of the wines. As we drank, Rainer told us of the inspiration behind his simple labels. Each wine label has a three-triangle symbol, representing the ‘W’ in his name Wess. It was his choice not to go with the wordy labels fashioned by other Austrian brands, but rather to let his label be as simple as possible, to be understood from a distance. 

According to Mr. Ying Hsien Tan, Master of Wine who attended the tasting, “The Gruner Veltliner, with the different styles it can be, reminds me of Pinot Gris from Alsace. The Kogl Gruner Veltliner shows more dimension than Kogl Riesling due to good acidity. In 2017 and 2018, the temperature was higher, and you can taste that impact in the wines. The current wines would be interesting to see once they lose their puppy fat. I love the Loibenburg 2015. Classic, floral with spine and minerality and an exquisite long finish."

Re-cap: Virtual Wine Tasting with Rainer Wess

For Rainer, it is important to focus on both his village wines and single vineyard wines so that people feel comfortable trying his entire range. Ultimately, he wants to produce wines that reflect the best of Austria

A selection of Rainer Wess wines are available from our latest offer, place your orders today by dropping us an email at customerservice@wine-clique.com.
Offer: Rainer Wess
Estate Kremstal Gruner Veltliner (2020) - $48 nett per bottle | JS 90
Estate Niederosterreich Gemischter Satz (2020) - $48 nett per bottle | JS 88
Estate Kremstal Riesling (2020) - $51 nett per bottle | JS 88
Alte Reben Krems Gruner Veltliner (2018) - $51 nett per bottle | JS 89
1ÖTW Kogl Gruner Veltliner (2018) - $70 nett per bottle | JS 92
1ÖTW Kogl Riesling (2017) - $70 nett per bottle | JS 92
Weinzierlberg Gruner Veltliner (2018) - $74 nett per bottle | WE 94
Loibner Loibenberg Reserve Riesling (2015) - $74 nett per bottle | WE 92
Auslese Riesling 375ml (2012) - $56 nett per bottle
Kremsleithen Trockenbeernauslese 
Riesling 375ml (2017) - $123 nett per bottle

Re-cap: Virtual Wine Tasting with Rainer Wess
Alte Reben Krems Gruner Veltliner  2018
“A subtle and shy nose promises fresh, bright, ripe Mirabelle plum. The palate accompanies this with rounded Mirabelle juiciness on a mild, fruit-driven, almost gentle palate. A spicy note suggests herbs and offers a counterpoint to wealth. The finish is dry and tasty.” - The Wine Enthusiast, 93 points.
S$51 NETT / Bottle (750ml) 

Re-cap: Virtual Wine Tasting with Rainer Wess
Loibner Loibenberg Reserve Riesling  2015
“Very ripe pear and plum notions dominate the nose. The palate has concentration and drive but still blossoms with generous fleshy fruit of great purity. This is an expression of joy and ripeness—of ready overflowing fruit kept taut and in focus by ripe orange freshness. The long finish has a touch of earth.” - The Wine Enthusiast, 92 points.
S$52 NETT / Bottle (750ml) 

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