Franz + Petra Weninger
Franz Weninger’s vineyards are certified biodynamic producing natural wines on two sides of the Burgenland border – both in Austria and Hungary. Franz’s father was a pioneer of organic farming in Hungary during the 1980s, and as a result, for Franz, organic farming became not just the only way, but the minimum practice.
After travelling to study & practice winemaking, Franz returned to the family winery in 1999. Soon enough, he began taking their farming practices to the next level by converting everything to biodynamics, and replanting vineyards needing rehabilitation with traditional grape varieties. He hasn’t pulled out his father’s old-vine plantings of international varieties, and so while the estate boasts an eclectic array of grape varieties, the focus is clearly on Blaufränkisch and the patchwork of ancient soils that make up the estate.
~RÓZSA PETSOVITS (AUSTRIA)~
Rózsa Petsovits was born in 1921 in Horitschon/Hungary. In the same year Horitschon came to Austria. Just as the history of Burgenland is a history of German-speaking Hungary, so this wine tries to think without borders. Syrah from gneiss from Hungary mingles with Zweigelt and Blaufrankisch from loam and Pinot Noir from limestone from Austria.
These grapes are selectively hand-harvested every year in September. They ferment for about 10 days in wooden barrels, after which they are aged on the lees for just 6 months before bottling.
RÓZSA PETSOVITS | 6 x 750ml | SKU #867192 | $23.62
A light red blend of Zweigelt, Pinot Noir, Blaufrankisch & Cabernet Franc from their biodynamic vineyards in Hungary & Austria. An easy-going and super fresh style.
The wine was fermented naturally, with some whole berries included in the ferment to introduce just a touch of carbonic fermentation. The wine was aged for 16 months in 40-year-old oak casks.
PONZICHTER | 6 x 750ml | SKU #889626 | $23.34
~2018 SAYBRITZ (AUSTRIA)~
The best site on Eisenberg – Blaufränkisch grapes have grown for 50 years on a blue and green slate substratum beneath heavily calcareous clayey loamy soil. What the land and its people bring forth on this steep southern slope has awakened the desire to tap these natural resources too.
The rocky subsoil allows good drainage. This results in freshness and bright fruit; the clay in the topsoil imparts a delicate sweetness and body. The view from the steep site adds lightness to the wine. An elegant Blaufränkisch with plenty of finesse.
SAYBRITZ | 6 x 750ml | SKU #517003 | $45.32
~2020 BLAUFRÄNKISCH (AUSTRIA)~
This Blaufränkisch reflects the diversity of the soils in Mittelburgenland. It brings loam and limestone – and thus depth and fineness – into the glass. The grapes are picked from approx 30 different plots, with vines from 5-35 years old.
Sour cherry, black olives and many dark berries. On the palate very fresh and animating. Lots of fuit, vivacious acidity, fine-grained spicy tannins.
BLÄUFRANKISCH | 6 x 750ml | SKU #777235 | $23.81
~2021 HOCHÄKER (AUSTRIA)~
100% old vine Blaufränkisch. Single Vineyard. Hochäcker is among the oldest sites in Horitschon. Its rockless, hard, and loamy substratum is interspersed with iron, which is characteristic of traditional Blaufränkisch soil. The forty-year-old vines produce the highest quality grapes every harvest. Red berry fruit, delicate forest berries, subtle notes of cherry, spices, and tobacco. Freshly structured on the palate. A complex wine, but not opulent. Dense and extremely concentrated thus ideal for aging.
HOCHÄKER | 6 x 750ml | SKU #071580 | $26.67
~2021 HÖLLESGRUND SYRAH (HUNGARY)~
This Syrah is only made in exceptional years, and we were excited to include it in our shipment once again. The fruit comes from some of the Weninger family’s oldest plantings, in the Sopron vineyard. The soils here are very stony and meagre.
Grapes were hand-picked at the end of September and fermented in big wooden vats, with 30% whole cluster inclusion. After 10 days of maceration, the grapes were pressed off and the wine was aged for 14 months in neutral 500L barrels. The wine was bottled in January 2023 with a touch of sulphur.
Floral aromatics of violet and lilac, as well as sour cherries, plus black olives and peppery spice. The palate is dense with a pleasant juiciness – the wine benefits from decanting.