Michael Gindl is a winemaker, but first and foremost, he is a farmer and animal lover. His biodynamic Weinviertel wines have become world-renowned for the unique portrait they paint of their region, but when you visit Michael, you realise that these wines wouldn’t exist without the healthy farming model in which they are grown and made.
Michael’s new range, Michi’s Farm, celebrates the importance of planet-friendly farming, and aims to introduce more wine lovers to this world. The goal is to make delicious, easy-drinking wines, inspire dialogue on agriculture, and simultaneously enable him to bring his estate wines to a new level of complexity. We spoke to him to find out more.
You can also read about Michael Gindl and watch a snippet from the documentary we made with him here.
LITTLEWINE: Hi Michael, great to speak with you again. We love the new Michi’s Farm wines, please do tell us more: how did you come up with the idea?
Michael: The idea actually began with good friends of mine. We were sitting together on the farm, discussing what we could do with grapes that I buy from friends. I said, I want to create a wine for those just starting to drink natural wines. But then, soon after, I actually had the chance to rent a 3.5-hectare vineyard 30 km north from my farm, where my girlfriend Theresa was born. So now, the Michi's Farm wines are a mix of grapes from this vineyard which I now farm, as well as some grapes that I buy from friends. Before, those grapes had also been included in my ‘Little Buteo’ and ‘Flora’ cuvées, but now the goal is for the estate wines to only come from estate-grown grapes. This means we can raise the prices of our estate wines a little bit, and those quantities become a bit smaller. Meanwhile, for Michi’s Farm, the idea is to create easy-drinking styles to introduce people to these wines.
LITTLEWINE: Yes, they are important gateway wines! This world needs wines that can introduce a new audience to the realm of organic and biodynamic farming. How do you make them?
Michael: For Michi’s Farm, we work with stainless steel, as well as some old wooden barrels, whereas for the estate wines I am now only using barrels. Also, for the white Michi’s Farm, we rack the wine once directly after fermentation, so it is only on the fine lees, whereas the estate wines will stay on the full lees. This means the Michi’s Farm is a bit fruitier, and more easy-drinking. The white is 95% Grüner, with a touch of Muskateller, the red is mainly Zweigelt with some Blauer Portugieser, and the orange is from Welschriesling and Chardonnay. The latter spends two weeks on the skins, and then ages in 2000L oak barrels. We bottle the white and the orange in spring, and the red is bottled in autumn. This gives me the time to be able to...