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Christoph Wachter-Wiesler makes some of the most compelling expressions of Blaufränkisch. He farms vineyards on the unique green schist soils of the Eisenberg organically. In the cellar, he has become known for his pure, low intervention Blaufränkisch wines and his gamechanging expressions of Welschrielsing.

"I like wines with acidity, I love freshness and I love origin. We love when the wines taste of where they come from. To find this in our wines, we started to do less in the cellar, and to instead follow our instincts." 

People:  Christoph Wachter-Wiesler

Place:  Sudburgenland, Austria

Varieties:  Blaufränkisch, Welschriesling and Furmint

Hectares:  16 

Farming:  Organic

Wines: Click here

Did You Know? Wachter-Wiesler became one of the first wineries to start taking Welschriesling seriously - to ferment naturally and to do longer ageing with the lees. As a result, the white wines have become more saline-driven, with umami flavours.

The vineyards are located in the Sudburgenland - the southern part of Austria’s Burgenland - with many sites in the Eisenberg DAC. The majority of the Wachter-Wiesler vines are older; between 30 and 60 years old; and - in Christoph’s words - “thank goodness they didn’t plant too much Cabernet or Merlot.” Instead, this has always been Blaufränkisch country; and their old vineyards portray a diverse genetic pool of the variety. The white portions, meanwhile, are planted to old-vine Welschriesling and Furmint. 

“I’m not a fan of replanting - I want to keep the vines healthy and alive for as long as possible, so we prune very gently.”

The geologic complexity of the area means that soils vary immensely from one vineyard to the next with regards to the percentage of topsoil. The Eisenberg - meaning Iron Mountain - is home to incredible green schist bedrock. 

“The iron in the soils brings a kind of bloody freshness to the wines. They have focus, texture and body, which in combination with the cool climate gives acidity and balance. Somehow, this gives a unique red cherry bloody iron mineral taste.” 

"We plant the cover crops to prevent erosion, but also for greater biodiversity. By having plants with various root lengths, they help the soil to aerate and to work well. When they decompose, they become food for the fauna and flora. It also just makes sense to see flowers in the vineyards; to see something blooming, and to see bees. I don’t want to look at my vineyard and just see green - I want to see...

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