It takes a lot of courage and conviction to go against the grain, especially when you’re from a region which is known for a very particular, more conventional style of wine (the Weinviertel). But that's exactly what Michael Gindl did, through biodynamic farming, and natural winemaking with the occasional experiment.
"I have the best time working in nature. I enjoy every minute, every hour — especially if I can work with my animals. When I am with them — outside in the vineyards — I can forget about everything else."
People: Michael Gindl
Place: Weinviertel, Austria
Varieties: Grüner Veltliner, Welschriesling, Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc), Riesling, Muskateller, Scheurebe and Müller-Thurgau for the whites, and Rotburger (a synonym for Zweigelt), Cabernet Sauvignon, Roesler and Blauburgunder for the reds
Hectares: 35 (10 of which are planted to vines)
Wines: Click here
Did You Know? Michael also raises and tends Scottish Highland cattle, Breton dwarf sheep, goats, chickens and horses.
Michael’s wines are remarkably low in alcohol; often around the 10 or 11% mark. This is part of what gives them their special drinkability factor. He explains,
“When I was in school, it was ‘Big California time.’ Every Chardonnay we had was 14% or more and double oaked. It took me a long time to understand that a light wine with low alcohol content can actually be higher in quality, and age for longer. That was probably the hardest thing to learn.”
Now, however, his palate has done a 180 from those rich, ripe Chardonnays. Instead, he says,