Estate: 3rd generation winemaker Christoph Hoch started working in his family’s winery in 2009. By 2013 he felt stagnated with their methods. His family gave him 5 hectares of vineyards in order for him to be able to go in a more instinctual, experimental direction, “maximizing the terroir”.
Located in the town of Hollenburg, on the south side of the Danube, 1 hour west of Vienna, Christoph farms biodynamically and organically [certified in 2015]. He uses specific herbs and grains in the vineyard to bring vital nutrients to the soil. An example is mustard, it adds sulphur to the soil. It “protects the plants and transfers it naturally to the wines, so that he can use as little as possible at bottling”.
All wines are spontaneously fermented and aged in very old, large barrels. The majority of his wines are a blend of different vintages, as he feels this is the best expression of the terroir and grape.
Winemaking: Zweigelt grapes [2018 harvest] are pressed white, while still fermenting, Sankt Laurent and Muskat Ottonel [skin fermented from the 2017 vintage] are added. From David Bowler, his US importer: “The bubbles in the bottle are entirely from the first fermentation. It’s spends six to eight months on the lees, allowing the tannins to come into balance with the bubbles. It’s a brut nature, with still wine added back to replace the disgorged lees.”
Tasting Notes: Coral-orange in colour, with aromas of grapefruit, strawberry, saline minerality and dusty , chalky earth. Grapefruit, blood orange, lemon, rhubarb, fresh acidity shimmer across a chalky mineral backbone. Fine, consistent fizz rolls through and buoys an almond streak on the crisp, saline mineral finish.
70% Zweigelt, 20% Sankt Laurent, 10% Muskat Ottonel
$25 [average price]