Kamptal gets its name from the river Kamp that flows directly through it, and is home to Austria’s largest wineproducing town, Langenlois. With an area of 3,907 hectares under vines, Kamptal is one of the most successful wine regions in Austria, and boasts a great number of outstanding producers of top quality wines. Culture and tourism also play a significant role and effective with the 2008 vintage, the Kamptal DAC defines wines made from Grüner Veltliner or Riesling in two styles, a classic-styled medium-bodied wine and a rich, opulent, dry Reserve style.
Kamptal boasts a varied terroir, ranging from loess to gravel to crystalline soils, along with red feldspathic sandstones and conglomerates, for example on the highly regarded vineyard site Heiligenstein. The name derives from the blazing sunshine that generates a hot and dry microclimate. The geological development of the rock is rather special, between 320–250 million years old, formed in the then desert-like conditions when a flash flood deposited soils that included volcanic elements.
Along the terraces of the steep south-facing slopes, that in places are so precipitous that no layers of loess can form a hold, Riesling vines are planted that producing powerful wines with exceptional aging potential. Moving southwards towards the Danube, the character of the soil changes to wider loess and loam terraces, offering the perfect conditions for traditional, but also full-bodied Grüner Veltiner, as well as the red and white Pinot varieties and Zweigelt. These wines are marketed under the designation of ‘Niederösterreich’.
Kamptal benefits from the dynamic interaction of hot breezes from the Pannonian plain coming from the east with cooler air from the Waldviertel toward the northwest. This unique combination of warm days and cool nights gives rise to the finely delicate aromatics and naturally vibrant acidity characteristic of grapes grown in the region.
A must-visit attraction for wine enthusiasts is the Loisium wine experience, with its futuristic visitors’ centre aboveground, leading to a subterranean labyrinth of several wine cellars, hundreds of years old with a wine experience in both sight and sound. Other important winegrowing towns within a short distance of Langenlois are Schiltern, Gobelsburg, Haindorf and Zöbing, and the important wine commune of Strass im Strassertale. Smaller wine villages include Etsdorf, Hadersdorf, Kammern, Lengenfeld and Schönberg