Morrell & Co. Wine Catalog

FALL 2018

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166 | MORRELL FINE WINE AND SPIRITS V ISIT u S AT MORRELLWINE .c OM cALL 800.96.WINES (800.969.4637) D e SS e RT , B RANDY AND P o RT H ere, balance is paramount: a balance of sugar, acid, depth of fruit and the layers that follow. In some cases, you will taste these wines and not even realize they are "sweet." o ften they are finessed, lifted, mouthwatering and irresistible. Which brings us to what inspired me to words, the masterful creations of the Kracher winery. The story of Kacher begins with Alois Kracher, a farmer in Burgenland, Austria, southeast of v ienna and only minutes from the Hungarian border. Alois worked hard, running a fully functional farm, yet he dreamed of making wine. When the time came, he didn't imagine what his dream would grow into, nor the style of wine that would define his house. The Kracher winery opened for business in 1959, with vineyards situated in a unique location perfect for the production of noble sweet wines. With vineyards near the largest national park in e urope, Hohe Tauern, home to the enormous, yet incredibly shallow l ake Neusiedlersee, the Kracher winery defined a style that brought fame to the region. The complex combination of low-lying lands, mixed with high humidity blowing off of lake Neusiedlersee, low precipitation year-round, yet hot summers and moderately cold winters created the ideal scenario for the development of botrytis cinerea (otherwise known as noble rot). As Gerhard Kracher, the third generation to run Kracher, explained it to me, "The decision to make sweet wines was made by the terroir," not his grandfather. The unbelievably high quality of botrytis found throughout their vineyards inspired him and put them on the map. However, the real fame at Kracher wasn't won until Gerhard's father, Alois Kracher Jr., joined his father in the winery, and together they gained international renown for their winery and Austrian sweet wines as well. Alois Kracher Jr., known to most as l uis, brought a level of passion and a personality to the mix that spoke to customers and wine lovers in a way that few others were able to. u nfortunately, l uis was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died in 2007 at the young age of 48. However, with the knowledge of his failing health, he was able to spend his final year working closely with his son Gerhard, imparting two generations' worth of knowledge and experience onto him. If Gerhard is any example of his father's devotion and passion, then I can only imagine how inspiring l uis must have been in his day. Now in the capable hands of Gerhard Kracher, this historic winery continues to not only create some of the world's greatest sweet wines, but to also continues to refine and improve on what many thought was already achieved–perfection. From their thirty-five hectares of vineyards, nearly 70% of the winery's entire production is sweet wines. The grapes of choice are Welschriesling, Chardonnay, Traminer, Pinot Blanc, Scheurebe, and Pinot Gris, all used to create the pinnacle of the Kracher portfolio, the Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese, otherwise known as TBA. e ach is produced using hand-picked botrytized grapes, yet in the case of Trockenbeerenauslese, the grapes have reached the highest level of sugar possible without literally preventing the juice from fermenting. At the entry level, Kracher produces a lineup of amazing wines ranging from Auslese to Beerenauslese, which represent amazing quality at an unbelievable price point. At the highest level, they create "The Collection," which changes from year to year and represents the absolute highest quality level of Trockenbeerenauslese (TBA). There have been years where the collection is represented by only one wine, and T H e S W ee T e ST Pe RF e CT i ON : K R a CH e R i f there's one thing that loving wine has taught us, it's that balance and moderation is the key, and living a little brings a healthy dose of happiness. Nowhere else does this statement make more sense than in the category of dessert wine.

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