Alois Kracher Jr. (23 February 1959 – 5 December 2007, Illmitz) was one of the most successful winemakers of Austria, and was known under the nickname "Luis". The wines from his vineyard Weinlaubenhof Kracher reached a world reputation and high acclaim from international wine critics such as Robert M. Parker, Jr., who awarded 98 points or higher on his famous 100-point scale to several of Kracher's wine. His fame was mainly built on his sweet wines, so called Trockenbeerenauslesen (TBA) of high sweetness and enormous concentration that results from the development of noble rot on the grapes. Local conditions on the shallow Lake Neusiedl, where the Kracher vineyards are situated, are conducive to the development of Botrytis cinerea (the fungus responsible for noble rot).
Kracher first studied chemistry and worked as a chemist in the pharmaceutical industry. From 1981 he started working part-time with winemaking in the winery of his father Alois Kracher Senior (born 1929), and from 1986 this became a full-time activity for Alois, with focus on sweet wines. This brought the business to fame with his new style of sweet TBAs. Alois Senior continued to work in the vineyards while Alois Junior were in charge of winemaking and overall management. This first vintage to receive broad acclaim was 1991.
In 2007, Kracher died of pancreatic cancer in Illmitz, Burgenland, Austria. He was married and had a son, Gerhard Kracher (born 1981), who at time of Alois' death had been working in the family's wine business for a number of years.
Awards and acclaim
Beginning in 1994, he received numerous awards for his wines. Kracher was the recipient of several prizes from various sources for best Austrian wine or vinery of the year, Sweet wine maker of the year and such, including "Winemaker of the Year" by the London-based Wine Journal six times. He was also active in California where Alois Kracher and fellow Austrian Manfred Krankl (who runs the Sine Qua Non winery) produced sweet wines under the label Mr. K. So far, he was the only Austrian winemaker to have received a straight 100-point score by Robert M. Parker's The Wine Advocate, although that score was awarded to a Mr. K wine, the 2004 Mr. K The Strawman, a Vin de Paille from Semillon. With Boston-based Spanish importer Jorge Ordóñez, Kracher created a winery in Málaga, Spain, making dry and sweet muscat wines from old hillside vineyards.
- Geschichte des Weines, Persönlichkeiten der Weinkultur: Kracher, Alois (1959−2007) (German)
- "Alois Kracher dies at the age of 48". Jancis Robinson.com. 2007-12-05. Retrieved 2014-08-12.
- Wine Advocate #172, August 2007