Producer Profile: The Weinviertel region of northern Austria’s state of Lower Austria (confusing for the layman!) loosely translates to “Wine Quarter.” The place originally named after what it was good at – growing wine-quality grapes. Though he is only 37 years old, Michael Gindl’s family farm goes back to the beginning of the 19th century – so, a young man is set amidst an old place. He’s been making wine on his family farm at the outskirts of an Oak forest in his childhood town of Hohenruppersdorf, a small village near the eastern extent of the Weinviertel, not so far from Slovakia and the March River. In any case, this winemaking region of northern Austria has historically produced the spicy Grüners that have achieved worldwide fame for its noble Austrian grape. Though to leave the ampelographic history of this place at that would miss the forest for the trees; yes, white-wine is the main product of both the Gindl estate and the Weinviertel writ large and yes, that white-wine is most often Grüner. But there is also plenty of gorgeous Riesling and Weissburgunder cultivated here. So: worth a mention, but suffice to say, Grüner’s generally the name of the game in Hohenruppersdorf. And for Michael Gindl’s approach to this long Grüner tradition, he utilizes extended lees contact in the cellar to mature the wines in barrels crafted from the oak trees of the forest that borders his vineyards. In this way, the wine is meant to reflect the ideology employed among the vines: biodiversity and biodynamics. Everything bakes one into the other. You’ll notice a particular affection on Michael’s part toward his animals, like his favorite cow Bessi, or any number of what he deems the vineyard’s guardian, the Buzzard (aka Buteo – what adorns your label!). These are enigmatic, brilliant wines from the Austrian ‘Wine Quarter’ cultivated by the family hands now going on two centuries in this exact same place – history hums within the bottle.
Vinification: 100% Grüner Veltliner, grown on loam, loess and sandstone. Grapes are hand-harvested, followed by 50% of the grapes being direct pressed and the remainder macerating on the skins for 6-8 hours. Fermented using native yeasts, and allowed to rest for 6 months in tank. Bottled unfined, unfiltered with no added SO2.
Tasting: A gorgeous sunset yellow in the glass, this is a medium-bodied, creamy skin contact white full of salinity, subtle tropical fruits and a comforting nutty finish. Supremely fresh, bright and perfect for everyday drinking.