Meet Stefanie & Susanne Renner, biodynamic winemakers from Burgenland, Austria, recently joined by their brother, Georg. They've become known amongst the most exciting faces of Austrian natural wine, creating minimal intervention terroir wines from indigenous varieties, with names like Waiting for Tom & Intergalactic.
LITTLEWINE visited the Rennersistas
“As siblings, we have a connection. We were raised by the same people, but we made our own choices and have had our own lives and pasts. But, in the end I often feel like we can understand one another. We’ve grown up together.”
People: Stefanie, Georg & Susanne Renner
Place: Burgenland, Austria
Varieties: Grüner Veltliner, Welschriesling, Muscat Ottonel, Gewürztraminer, Welschriesling, Chardonnay, Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris), Blaufränkisch, Sankt Laurent and Pinot Noir
Farming: Biodynamic (Demeter certified)
Wines: Click here
Did You Know? Stefanie learnt the winemaking ropes at some iconic natural wine domaines: Matassa in the Roussillon, France, Shobbrook in the Barossa Valley, Australia, and JH Meyer Wines in the Swartland, South Africa.
“Biodynamics - or whatever you want to call this way of farming - is not a simple science. You can’t say ‘just do this and you’ll get a result.’ It’s gradual. We feel that now there just seems to be more balance in the vineyards. In the biodynamic thinking, you look more at the long-term; the plant understands that it doesn’t always have to produce a lot. The work in the vineyard becomes easier and easier too, as the vines produce less leaves and shoots that you need to take away. The vine is more balanced, whereas if the plant gets the message it has to grow a lot, all the time, then it produces more water shoots and it’s just chaos."
Susanne explains that the vine also seems to be more resistant to extreme climatic conditions; drought but also the opposite, if flooding occurs. The soil is more spongy and can better absorb and store water, meaning that risk of erosion is lessened. She says,
“If your soils aren’t healthy; if they’re unstable or unbalanced, then extreme weather conditions harm the whole system a lot more. That’s the main idea of our farming - to allow the plant to be able to adapt to all of the extremes.”
Since converting gradually to biodynamics, they have noted that the formation of the berries has altered, and they consistently see lower pH levels and faster fermentations.