14.12.2018 – Winery Foradori, Trentino, Italy
24.12.2018 – Christmas @ Grapes
31.12.2018 – New Year’s Eve @ Grapes
6 questions to … Christoph Wachter-Wiesler, Thomas Straka & Markus Faulhammer
What was the craziest thing you tried about making wine?
Christoph: Maybe to “turn our whole business upside down” and question everything, to do things differently!
Thomas: Of course, there are others with amphorae and must fermented white wines but the the craziest thing was to take over the hobby winery 10 years ago, develop it and make the wines to establish themselves on the market.
Markus: We made a straw wine (raisin wine) in 1993. Nothing crazy in itself, perhaps unusual for our region. A small amount of it was not bottled, then more or less got forgotten. Then in 2003 I thought we bottled it. Then it also happened…but not until 2017! 🙂
What do you do differently from everyone else?
Christoph: We work with a lot of “gut feelings” and are often very spontaneous, but always have the origin of our region in mind. So as long as you don’t try to look me in the head, it’s different than the others. 🙂
Markus: This is one of those questions that nobody can answer. I don’t think you have to reinvent the wheel. It is most important not to follow every trend, but to trust one’s own perception and to follow it uncompromisingly. Only then you can fully stand behind your work.
Why wine and not liquor?
Christoph: One thing at a time!
Thomas: There’s schnapps anyway, but I can’t handle it so well.
Markus: I don’t deal hard drugs.
What has been your best wine experience so far?
Christoph: Many, always with good friends and colleagues.
Thomas: There are a lots of them and always with great people.
Markus: In terms of wine tasting: 1975 Blaufränkisch Weinberg Spätlese from grandfather Felix. Fascinating lively wine. Beautiful to taste what is possible in our region. Personally: Harvesting together the birth year of my then 3-year-old son. He was extremely active with the process and had a very concrete opinion which was based on if it smells good or less good. It is a very good wine, so I am forced to let it take part in the tasting process more often.
How would you describe the changes in viticulture over the past 10 years?
Christoph: Partly very positive. Many young people are striving to reflect more and more of the origin, finesse and freshness. At the same time, the majority still likes to drink the buttery jam jelly that tastes the same all over the world and is certainly produced much cheaper elsewhere. Sooner or later, reflecting the origin will win, because nobody can take it away from you!
Thomas: A young generation of wine growers have developed very good networks with each other. But we have had to adjust to a different weather like we have seen in the last few years so that our wines reflect the region even more, which is the most important thing for me.
Markus: It does not only concern the viticulture, but in the last years, two movements are forming more and more clearly. One, unfortunately much smaller, invests a lot in sustainability, while the other part invests a lot in profit optimization. The former must prevail in the long run or at least establish a balance. Apart from that, a lot has happened in the area of characteristic wines. More and more people are recognising that it is important to produce wines as genuine, straightforward and regionally typical as possible. This is the only way to find your place in the wine world in the long run.
4, 5, 6 glasses of wine and you…?
Christoph: 4, 5, 6 bottles of wine, so what?
Thomas: Looking forward to 7, 8, 9……..
Markus: I don’t drink anything today…
On Thursday, 22 November 2018 a special evening will take place at the Grapes Wine Bar in the Cortiina Hotel in Munich. Don’t missthe motto, because this evening Stefan Grabler and Markus Hirschler will not only present 3 winemakers, but also they will be serving a special menu to accompany these 3 winemakers! Look forward to the Straka Winery, the Schützenhof Winery and the Wachter-Wiesler Winery – all from southern Burgenland in Austria!
Thomas Straka is a young winegrower, who shapes the modern Austrian wine style and brings life to the region, which is somewhat slumbering in terms of tourism and wine. The Straka Winery is located in Rechnitz in the northern part of southern Burgenland. The focus is on the traditional Burgenland grape varieties such as Welschriesling and Blaufränkisch, but also some Pinot Blanc and Merlot can be found. The Welschrieslings in particular show a degree of character, structure and minerality that many represented on the market have completely lacked and that has excited us very much!
The Schützenhof Wineryin Deutsch Schützen at the foot of the Eisenberg has been running as a family business since 1816. Since 1952, they have been pouring authentic wines into bottles. The main focus is on the red wine and especially on Blaufränkisch and Pinot Noir. They are known for their natural biological processing, as well as their experience and minimal intervention in the wine making process.
Christoph Wachter-Wiesler, son of the Wachter-Wiesler family, now has a firm grip on the winery and has a strong influence on the wine scene in southern Burgenland with his own unique style. He is supported by his parents Theresia and Franz Wachter. Their belief is: wine is most interesting, natural and authentic when you recognize its origin. All of their hard work is directed towards this – and thus their grapes grow as close to nature and uninfluenced as possible. Their character comes entirely from the soil of Deutsch-Schützen and Eisenberg. Delight takes time, so it is important to work with the vineyard and not against it. Give plants and animals their freedom and bring the soil to life, i.e. let nature run its course.