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Franz Weninger

Franz Weninger went from classic wine school in Vienna, to learning how to make wine in California, Australia and Alto-Adige, to finding his own path: starting at organics and leading to biodynamics. It's an ongoing, contemplative and personal quest to find and translate the voice of his vineyards' terroir.

LITTLEWINE visited Franz at his cellar in the Burgenland, Austria.

“I was thinking… Did the wine change? Or did I change? Did my taste change...? I think I had become more open minded. I was free in my opinions, further away from school education and finding my own tastes. I was ready for alternative methods.” 

People:  Franz Weninger

Place:  Burgenland (Austria) & Sopron (Hungary)

Varieties:  Blaufränkisch, Pinot Noir, Zweigelt, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Welschriesling, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris

Hectares:  26 hectares in Austria and 24 hectares in Hungary

Farming:  Biodynamic (Demeter and respekt-BIODYN certified)

Wines: Click here

Did You Know?  Franz's 'penny-drop' natural wine was one of Pierre Frick's.

Franz on Biodynamics

After experiencing the benefits of compost and converting to organics in 2002, the next step - to biodynamics - happened in 2006. It was a simple stepping stone for Franz.

He explains that when first converting to organics, farmers are told to stop spraying chemicals, and to instead spray the less powerful (and natural) copper and sulphur, but to spray these more often. He says,

“So in organics, you’re the stupid guy who has to spray more often. But biodynamics opens up a whole new world of medicine - teas, preparations - that make you start to think about the immune system of a plant. Can I get that plant to a state where it doesn’t need the medicine - where it can be healthy on its own?”

It was this thinking that made him find the biodynamic path easier to follow than the organic path. He muses,

“Maybe it’s in the mind - but… I think when you feel more calm and safe - by using biodynamic preps -  then your plants will feel more calm and safe. If I feel more comfortable with the work I do, and I see better results, then it keeps me more connected and I have a positive mindset.”  

“I want to make something out of it, it shouldn’t just be half a hectare, growing vegetables for the family. That’s also nice, of course, but it won’t change the world of agriculture. We have to do...

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