Grapes: Blauer Wildbacher
Region: Styria, Austria
Viticulture: Organic + Biodynamic
Soils: Lestein. Steep slope with loamy Opok soil close to Franz’s house
Vinification: the grapes are hand-harvested and destemmed, then spend 4 hours on skins. After soft pressing, the alcoholic and malolactic fermentations happen spontaneously in wooden barrels
Aging: wooden barrels for 6 months
Fining or Filtering: none
Notes from the Importer: Franz Strohmeier is a visionary natural winemaker, working in the Steiermark part of Styria, known as the “Green Heart” of Austria. Franz is a very philosophical winemaker – who is never contented to make wine like the establishments around him – always making the decisions that expresses his terroir in the most natural way. He is constantly tinkering with his 8-hectares of vines to find better and more natural methods. An example most recently was his use of whey (the liquid part of milk produced in cheese production) to spray his grapes, instead of copper sulfate. He has some portion of his grapes growing wild, without pruning, that produce very small intensely flavored grapes. Franz does not subscribe to any certified biodynamic organization, although many of his methods sound biodynamic to us. If a malady strikes a vine, he often prefers to not treat it. Instead, he prefers to forgo those vines, saying the vineyard as a whole gains in health from a little bit of sickness, showing how biodiversity is of chief concern. He makes wines that are like nothing else we have ever tasted, a true display of the unique terroir of this region. Franz makes sparkling wines with great finesse and stability, perfect for everyday drinking and pairing with a wide variety of foods. He also makes the Trauben, Liebe & Zeit (=Grapes, Love, Time) line, amazingly crafted zero sulfur wines made with nothing but grapes, love and time.