Drinking a bottle of Neumeister wine isn’t just about drinking a bottle of delicious wine. Coming from 30 hectares of organic vineyards — in one of the world’s most challenging regions to farm organically — these are wines that also represent deep courage of conviction.
Farming in this manner means months of sweat, tears and sleepless nights, but when you taste the wines and experience the results that come from these efforts, every moment is worth it for Christoph. He achieves his goal in creating delightful wines, while simultaneously knowing that his vineyards are as healthy as they can be.
People: Christoph Neumeister, the extended Neumeister family (namely his parents Anna and Albert), and partner Katharina Tinnacher
Place: Southern Styria, Austria
Varieties: Sauvignon Blanc, Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris), Weißburgunder (Pinot Blanc), Chardonnay, Gelber Muskateller, Roter Traminer, Zweigelt, Pinot Noir
Did You Know? Styria is one of the hardest regions in which to farm organically, mainly due to its very high rainfall, which is double the amount of many wine growing regions (1000 - 1200mm per year). This makes Christoph's feat to farm 30 hectares organically even more impressive.
It took years of learning from organic teachers and experimenting with different methods and spray programs, but eventually they succeeded in converting the entire estate.
“It is very, very difficult. With organic farming, you’re constantly working ahead of time, because the methods are preventative. You can’t really cure problems.”
As such, he has invested in specialized tractors, and has a very strict spray regimen.
“As soon as we’re in the period of vegetation, we can’t leave the area, we can’t take holidays, or maybe only two days max. You’re always on the phone. It’s very, very difficult, and we have to be super professional, else we simply wouldn’t be able to harvest any grapes.”
When it comes to vintages, it’s a case of hoping for the best. In difficult years, we can’t even imagine the stress that Christoph experiences. He recalls,