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.


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