Website: Weinrieder Winery
Country Location: Austria
His name is Friedrich Rieder, but he calls himself Weinrieder. "I want to distinguish myself from all the dozens of Rieders around here", he says. Fritz, as he is called by his friends is proud that he has established the name Weinrieder not only in the neighboring villages and towns but that this name has become an internationally recognized brand. Fritz Rieders' wines are of a breathtaking intensity: an unbelievable fruitiness paired with a racy, almost electric acid are characteristics of his style.
The people. Located in Kleinhadersdorf near the wine town of Poysdorf in the Weinviertel DAC, Friedrich Rieder specializes in Grüner Veltliner, Riesling, Weissburgunder, Chardonnay and a range of Eisweins, BA’s, TBA’s, and Strohweins in the northern most winegrowing region in Austria. While the region is also renowned for supplying most of Austria’s Champagne-style sparkling wines (Sekt), it’s also appropriately referred to as “Veltliner Land.” Being this far north, there is immense focus on the entire growing cycle and really pushing the extremes in terms of harvest while preserving the quality of the fruit. His wines embody an incredible fidelity in terms of showing vintage instead of relying on adjustments or trends. In doing so, and already in 1987, the Falstaff Magazine awarded Weinrieder the prestigious title of Wine Maker of the Year. His reputation has continued to grow ever since. At the highly regarded Hamburg Wine Salon 2001 organized by eminent German wine critic Mario Scheuermann, Weinrieder received the Grand Prix d’Excellence for the Collection of the Year and won the top award for his ice wine against contenders such as his fellow Austrian sweet wine super star Alois Kracher.
In the vineyards.The Weinviertel is Austria’s largest DAC with three quarters of all the picturesque ‘Kellergassen’ (lanes of winecellars built into the hillside). This link between history and locality also resulted in it being Austria´s first DAC (Districtus Austriae Controllatus). With approximately 30 acres extending from the best south and southwest facing sites, the single vineyards Birthal, Kugler, Schneiderberg, Hohenleiten, and Bockgaerten have long become synonymous with quality. The predominately loess and loam soils impart minerality to compliment the characteristic “pepper” spiciness found throughout the region. Early and consistent work in the vineyards, including an extremely rigorous green harvest (one bunch per shoot), promotes thick skinned able to withstand a long hang time.
In the cellar. The equipment in the cellar is relatively simple and straightforward. Here you will find no fancy technology, just well manicured stainless steel tanks for long cool fermentations, a collection of small oak barrels, and one single pneumatic press. In addition to a preferring a long fermentation, extended lees contact is paramount. Most important though is the timing and the careful execution of the harvest. Being this far North requires a great deal of calm confidence. Wines are never chapitalized, PH never adjusted, and maceration is never less than 24 hours.
Wine Maker of the Year, Falstaff 1987
Three Grapes in the Gault Millau guide
Top 50 Austrian Wineries
"One of the Best Wineries in the World"
A la Carte Magazine
Wine of the Year
Hamburger Wein Salon 2001
Collection of the Year
Hamburger Wein Salon 2001