Pictures: Christian G.E. Schiller with Gottfried Lambert and Peter Vechiatto and Melanie Stumpf.
I tasted two wines of Gottfried Lamprecht from Weingut Herrenhof in Styria in Austria with a group of fellow bloggers attending the 2010 European Wine Bloggers Conference in Vienna. This tasting has become known as guerilla wine tasting as it was not part of the official program, but took place in a little corner of Schloss Schoenbrunn, away from the official event.
Steiermark is one of Austria’s 4 wine regions. It is the most southern one, an amalgam of Sued, Ost and West Steiermark. I know the Sued Steiermark well. I is lovely and many call it the Tuscany of Austria. When I used to live in Croatia, I would always stop in the Sued Steiermark and have a couple of glasses of wine, before crossing the Slovenian border. The Sued Steiermark is best known for aromatic, savory white wines from Weissburgunder, Morillon (Chardonnay) and Sauvignon Blanc.
Gottfried Lamprecht’s vineyards are in the Ost Steiermark, in the east of Graz, in the direction to the southern Burgenland. Gottfried says “the Ost Steiermark is in a way an extension of southern Burgenland. Climate and terroir are similar.”
Gottfried Lamprecht from Weingut Herrenhof
The Herrenhof Estate has a long winemaking history. When the Vorau Abbey owned the estate several centuries ago, the slopes of the estat were used for winegrowing. But by the end of the 19th century winemaking was abandoned. It is on a few years back that Gottfried and his parents, the current owners of the Herrenhof Estate, decided to resume winemaking and replanted the traditional vineyard slopes.
Weingut Herrenhof is still a small operation, but the vineyards already look different from conventional vineyards as Gottfried believes in organic vine growing. As with all organic vineyards, the Herrenhof vineyards are colorful and full of different herbs and insects. Milliards of small animals make the vineyard to a multifaceted ecosystem. Gottfried says “the vineyard is the soul of the wine and that is why I believe in organic winemaking.” The Gault Millau WeinGuide 2011 Austria awarded Weingut Herrenhof the first grape. Congratulations!
Finally, Gottfried Lamprecht is one of those winemakers who actively use the web to promote their wines and connect with customers. He is very active on Facebook and has a bi-lingual wine blog www.herrenhof.net although he does not yet export. But this will come, I am sure.
Gottfried Lamprecht’s Winemaking Philosophy
Gottfried has developed his own winemaking Charter, which comprises 9 items.
(1) Guarantee of origin for all wines.
(2) Certified organic wine production.
(3) Maximum yield of 45hl/ha (allowed: 67hl).
(4) The characteristics of the site and of the vintage must be reflected in the wine.
(5) Fermentation with natural yeasts only and the bottling of the wine not before April of the following year.
(6) No use of flavors and additives, sulfite is added in small quantities, no use of concentration machines or spinning cone columns.
(7) Use of traditional winemaking methods, such as long yeast contact and (if possible) unfiltered bottling.
(8) Sustainability of soil fertility, soil life and diversity in the vineyard (animals and plants) is a must..
(9) 100% free of genetic technics.
Gottfried had brought 2 Wines, a White and a Red Wine, to Vienna
Here are the 2 wines of the guerilla wine tasting at the EWBC 2010 in Vienna.
Buchertberg White 2009
Gottfried’s notes: Wines from Herrenhof are traditional and complex. I do not use any modern technology which I think changes or masks the expression of my origin. That‘s the only way wine stays an original drink of cultural value. In former days monks used the estate as a winery. Today we started to replant this traditional vineyard slope with vines. Burgundy grape varieties and the „old school“ field blend is what fits best to this slope.I believe in that soil is the soul of wine growing. That‘s why I farm the vineyards sustainable and organic. To give wine time in cellar to mature is self-evident for me. Authenticity is what I am working for. At Herrenhof Estate there are 3 wines bottled: Pinot blanc in spring (release may 1st), and the single vineyard field blend wines Buchtertberg White and Red (release October 1st). Just let the wine breath a little bit before drinking – all flavors can be enjoyed much better.
Technical data: Vintage: 2009, Varieties: Field blend field blend of Sauvignon, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Riesling, Vineyard: Buchertberg, Age of vines: 2-4 years, Closure: screwcap, Soil: versatile tertiary sediments - sand, limy sandstone, silt, „opok“, Fermentation: only native yeasts, Aging: small oak barrels, Analysis: 13,1 vol% alc.; 4,7 g/l TA; Residual sugar: 1,9 g/l
Last for: 2010-2015, Drink at: 12-14°C.
My tasting notes: light-yellow in the glass, hints of toasted almonds, mango and ripe apple on the nose, good structure and acidity, a earthy, salty and also fruit on the palate, long finish.
Blaufraenkisch vom Eisenberg 2009
Gottfried’s comments: Wines from Herrenhof are traditional and complex. I do not use any modern technology which I think changes or masks the expression of my origin. That‘s the only way wine stays an original drink of cultural value. This wine from the site Eisenberger Hummergraben (variety: Blaufränkisch) is the result of a cooperation. I really like the high quality site, so it was just a question of time to vinify a wine from there. My aim is to produce a very elegant wine full of finesse (that‘s what it is) in opposite to the common fat and full bodied Blaufränkisch style here in Austria. The vineyard should be in the bottle not winemaking technics. A perfect wine to match with food.
Technical data: Vintage: 2009, Variety: Blaufränkisch, Vineyard: Eisenberger Hummergraben, Age of vines: 25-30 years, Closure: screwcaps, Soil: deep loam over shist, Fermentation: only native yeasts, Aging: small oak barrels, Analysis: 12,6 vol% alc.; 4,9 g/l TA; residual sugar: 0,7 g/l, Last for: 2010-2015, Drink at: 14-16°C.
My notes: Gottfried bought the fruit from neighboring wine growers and vinified the grapes in his cellar, ligh, red in the glass, transparent, attack of cassis and blackberry, coupled with some wet stone and pain grille on the nose, lean and well structure, elegant and feminine on the palate, good finish.
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