The Wines of Austria, Part Two: Thursday, March 18, 6 pm
Nature Made, Limited Only by Nature: The Wines of Gernot und Heike Heinrich
Our second tasting takes us to the east of Austria and the region of Neusiedlersee. We’re in the heart of the region, near its namesake, Lake Neusiedl. To our north and east is Slovakia. To the east and south of us is Hungary. The region is in the heart of the Pannonian Basin and its alluvial geology. The basin makes for hot, dry summers and cold winters, but the effect of Lake Neusiedl moderates the climate. The characteristics of this terroir create a quality of fruit which distinguish the wines of Neusiedlersee from any other in the world.
Our tasting takes place north and east of Lake Neusiedl, at Weingut Heinrich. In 1990, Gernot and Heike Heinrich began their winery with just one hectare. Today, their winery is made up of 90 hectares. In 2006, Gernot and Heike turned to biodynamics. Today, they’re among Austria’s most innovative winemakers. What we are trying to do,” says Gernot, “is continue the biodynamic philosophy that we practice in the vineyard into the wine cellar.” Gernot and Heike ferment their wines spontaneously and leave them on their skins for several weeks. “We give the wines plenty of time to mature, the time that hardly anyone has today,” Gernot says. “It is above all else time that shapes our wines.”
Taking us to Lake Neusiedl and Gernot and Heike’s vineyards is Master Sommelier Jesse Becker, who writes extensively about the wines of Germany and Austria. Jesse was sommelier at Tra Vigne in Napa Valley, NoMI at the Park Hyatt in Chicago, and Frasca Food and Wine in Colorado. On Thursday, March 18, he’ll be your guide for the evening.