Sauvignon Blanc Kitzeck-Sausal – 2020

Region: Austria - Südsteiermark


On some of the highest and steepest winegrowing slopes in all of Central Europe, where winegrowing was documented as early as 1757, a pair of brothers continue their family tradition. Bernhard and Stefan Schauer have taken over the reins of their family’s winery and brought their own passion to this corner of Südsteiermark in southern Austria. Records in the village church document the early winemaking of the Schauer family. Once a farm of mixed agriculture, the crop is now grapevines. Grown on the top of hillsides, the vines thrive in the slate and schist-rich soil.

Since the beginning, there has always been a Schauer family winemaker overseeing viticulture and winemaking in Kitzeck-Sausal. Both the great-grandfather and grandfather of the present generation were farmers and made wine. In 1980, Karl Schauer completed the conversion of all farming to grapevines. In 2010, he passed primary responsibility for the estate to sons Stefan and Bernhard. The brothers are passionate winegrowers who always work together, in the vineyards, in the cellar, or in their parents’ Buschenschank (traditional Austrian wine tavern) and guesthouse. Stefan is the winemaker and runs the winery with Bernhard, who handles marketing and all administration. They have grown the winery quickly in the past several years: from 25 acres /10 hectares in 2010 to 70 acres/28 hectares in 2019.

The Wine

Vineyard Profile

Preferred estate vineyards in Kitzeck im Sausal, Südsteiermark.

  • Altitude: 420 – 580 meters
  • Exposure: South, Southwest
  • Soils: Steep slopes with a unique slate
  • Climate: Cool alpine influences from the North and West
Harvest Notes
  • Hand harvested mid-late September
  • Manual berry selection
  • Fermented in used, large oak barrels using only indigenous yeast
  • No malolactic fermentation
  • Aged 12 months on fine lees before bottling
Winemaker's Notes

This wine comes from our preferred vineyards within the traditional wine-growing village of Kitzeck im Sausal. With its high altitude and unique slate soils, the village of “Kitzeck-Sausal” offers great conditions for growing wine. There is evidence that Kitzeck-Sausal was already an important wine-growing village in the monarchy in 1763.

Graphite-flint notes and cooling Sauvignon aromas on the nose. Structure and fine spice on the palate. Tightly woven and straightforward. A textbook example of Austrian, high altitude Sauvignon Blanc.

Wine Summary

100% Sauvignon Blanc; alcohol: 12.5%; steep estate vineyards in Kitzeck-Sausal; unique slate soils; 450 – 570 meters altitude; cool alpine influences; hand harvested and sorted mid-late September; only indigenous yeast fermentation in large, neutral oak barrels; no malolactic fermentation; aged 12 months on fine lees in barrels; Certified Sustainable Austria wine.

Technical Information
  • 100% Sauvignon Blanc
  • Alcohol: 12.5%
  • Certified Sustainable Austria wine


93 Points

Brothers Stefan and Bernhard Schauer consider this their signature sauvignon blanc, sourced from a vineyard of red slate that rises to 1,903 feet in elevation. Fermented with ambient yeasts in large used wooden barrels, the wine feels plush and round, with a lemon-curd richness. And yet it’s firm, with umami notes of earth and mineral and a phenolic grip. The wine holds strong for days after opening, as it is sure to last in the cellar as well.

Wine and Spirits, April, 2022

90 Points

This is textbook Sauvignon from Styria, with crunchy texture adding to the flinty, citrus-driven palate, underscored by notes of sage and milk thistle. This is not so obvious at first and requires the right setting. Drink it through 2027.

Wine Enthusiast, September, 2022

General Info

Country Austria
Region Styria
Appellation(s) Südsteiermark
Proprietors Bernhard & Stefan Schauer
Founded 1757
Winemaker Stefan Schauer
Annual Production 8,333 9L cases
Farming (Sustainable, organic, biodynamic) Sustainable