#WineWednesday Spotlight #99: Pfneiszl Zweigler

This week’s #WineWednesday Spotlight is the dazzling Pfneiszl Zweigler thanks to this Instagram post from wine lover Shelley Warkentin: Crushed this tasty Zweigelt over the weekend. Really loving this grape as an alternative to rosé on hot days, especially with a little chill on it.⚡️Also, I want to hang out with the two awesome sisters, Birgit and Katrin, who made this wine. @pfneiszlestate #glouglou #pfneiszlwinery #zweigler #zweigelt #austrianwine #realwine #birgitundkatrin #bluedanubewine Affirmative! The 1 Liter Zweigler from the Pfneisl sisters is just what you need on a hot day. Try also his brother, the spicy 1 Liter Blaufränker. Both are bright, fruity as well as organic. And don’t forget to follow Shelley Warkentin on on Instagram.

#WineWednesday Spotlight #59: Geyerhof Zweigelt StockWerk

Although Kremstal — an appellation in the Danube Valley situated around the old Austrian town of Krems — is best-known for its white wines, it enjoys a slightly warmer climate than in the nearby Wachau where the valley is narrower. Thanks to these conditions, the Maier family from Geyerhof grows organic Zweigelt (pronounced TSVYE-gelt) in deep sandy soil on east-facing slopes for their StockWerk project. The name StockWerk, which means in German work (Werk) on the vine (Stock), reflects the philosophy of the Maier family, a pioneer of organic viticulture in Kremstal. Farming an organic vineyard implies a lot of additional hard work to keep the vine healthy and preserve biological diversity in the vineyard. To save the grasslands around their village of Oberfucha from overgrowth, the family started raising cattle again last year. They now have manure for the fields and also meat and milk. Moreover, Maria Maier, daughter of a Beekeeper, started beekeeping two years ago. Thanks to the absence of pesticides, she has now healthy and thriving bee colonies. The cow and bees that you can see below the vine on the wine’s label illustrate that biological diversity. With its light peppery nose, aromas of sour cherry … Continue reading #WineWednesday Spotlight #59: Geyerhof Zweigelt StockWerk

The WildWux Project

Founded by Ilse Maier of Geyerhof and her friend of many years, Burgenland red wine specialist Birgit Braunstein, the WildWux project takes a holistic approach to wildlife and environmental protection. The goal of the project is to go beyond organic viticulture and give back part of the vineyard to nature under the supervision of wildlife specialists. 30% of the vineyard is been restored into a wildlife corridor that preserves biological diversity and protects local species such as the red-backed shrike, the inches ios, the European tree frog, the bumble bee, and the spermophilus, in their natural habitat. “Preserving nature and utilizing the vitality of the soil” is Ilse Maier’s motto at Geyerhof. The family has been managing vineyards organically for many years, focusing on a sound eco-system and healthy soils. Organic viticulture is much more than avoiding chemicals. For the Maier family, it is a trapeze act without a safety net. The vineyards need to be continuously monitored in order to catch diseases in their earliest stages. Small failures can have disastrous consequences and sometimes, it’s too late to implement remedying measures. “We have worked on specialized know-how during the last fifteen years and this has taken a great deal … Continue reading The WildWux Project

The Batič Approach to Organic Wine Making

memories of a warm Welcome at the Batič estate. Miha Batic’s great-grandfather made wine on his property in the old Austria. His grandfather made wine on the same property in Italy; Miha’s father, in his turn, in Yugoslavia, and now Miha makes wine with him in Slovenia. As Miha explains it, the rulers and their rules don’t matter so much as the land in the Vipava Valley that has been cultivated by his family since 1592. For him, as he explains his family’s wine to 60 appreciative guests at a tasting dinner in New York, it always comes back to the land, to nature. The Batic winery lies on 18 hectares of land on the westernmost edge of Slovenia, 15 miles from the Italian border. Grapes are planted on the slopes edging the valley, where the dry breeze of the Mediterrean climate meets the Alpine chill. The Vipava Valley is historically known for its white wines—and Batic makes ageworthy Pinot Gris, as well as Chardonnay and Sauvignon—but Old World–style reds are produced as well: Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Indigenous varieties are blended with international in the Batic cuvée Bonisimus: Pinela, Rebula (known as Ribolla a few kilometers away … Continue reading The Batič Approach to Organic Wine Making