The „Seewinkel“ is an area in the Burgenland region of Austria, approximately 20 km wide, along the eastern shore of lake Neusiedl. The villages of Illmitz, Apetlon and Podersdorf are situated within this reedy wetland, which is actually a natural preserve. It is an immense plain, with countless shallow lakes of various sizes scattered throughout it. Most of these lakes, including the largest, Lake Neusiedl, are less than five feet deep. This unusual terrain is often covered with dense fog, adding to the special charm of the region.
The pannonic continental climate brings hot dry summers and very cold winters. These extremes are somewhat mitigated by the presence of the large Lake Neusiedl, creating a unique microclimate for viticulture.
During cool autumn evenings, evaporation from the numerous lakes creates heavy fog, which covers the area until mid-day when the still strong sunlight burns through. This daily change of weather is the prerequisite for the special Botrytis cinerea, a nearly annual gift of nature, which makes the production of Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese wines possible.
Alois Kracher’s vineyards stretch between Illmitz and the shore of Lake Neusiedl. To the untrained eye the area will appear completely plane, but Alois Kracher points at the "mountains": undulations of a height of up to one to one and a half meters, which have considerable influence on the development of the grapes and, above all, the quality of botrytis.
Alois's father, Alois Kracher sen., is in charge of vineyard management. The vineyards are planted at high densities in order to "stress" the vines, thus producing lower quantities at elevated concentrations. Traditional grape varieties include Welschriesling, Chardonnay, Traminer, Weißburgunder and Sämling 88 (Scheurebe).