The Austrian Benedictine Alexander Karl (1824-1909) was born the son of a wealthy landowner. He studied theology and philosophy at the University of Wien and joined the Benedictine Abbey of Melk in Lower Austria in 1844, where he was ordained a priest in 1849. Here he exercised the functions of a chamberlain (responsible for the finances), construction and garden director and cellar master before he was finally elected in 1875 to the 62nd abbot of Melk Abbey. From 1878 to 1908 he was a member of the Lower Austrian Landtag for five legislatures.
He belonged to the "Association for the Protection of Austrian Viticulture", which he also chaired from 1896 as president. He earned special services to viticulture, because he was one of the first in the appearance of the phylloxera in Austria the wineries of the monastery in to bathe and Gumpoldskirchen with by American documents grafted vines to motivate skeptical winegrowers against this method. The abbot had a large orchard planted in Melk, in which it was 25 Table grape varieties gave. Thanks to his initiative Wachau also the characteristic Most fruit trees bordering the country roads.