One of the stars of Austria's Burgenland, Hannes Schuster, son of Rosi, makes some of the region's iconic wines from Sankt Laurent and Blaufränkisch, as well as a white Gemischter Satz, Grüner Veltliner and Furmint. Created from biodynamic farming and minimal intervention in the cellar, these fine wines have become celebrated worldwide.
People: Hannes & Rosi Schuster
Place: Burgenland, Austria
Varieties: Blaufränkisch, Sankt Laurent, Gemischter Satz (field blend), Grüner Veltliner & Furmint
Did You Know? When Hannes took the reins from his mother and father, he decided to move away from international varieties (like Cabernet Sauvignon) and instead focus on the indigenous varieties of Austria. He says,
“We can’t work with Cabernet anymore. I like Pinot Noir; I like Cabernet Franc, but we have Blaufränkisch and Furmint, Welschriesling and Grüner Veltliner. This is what we see, and this is what we want to transport into the future.”
Hannes’ parents, Rosi and Franz Schuster, founded Weingut Schuster in 1979, the same year they married. At first, the winery was small – around two or three hectares, with a sole focus on Blaufränkisch. However, Hannes’ father, Franz, was interested in big, bold wines and so planted Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (this was also in fashion at the time). Soon after, they took over the winery and vineyards from Rosi’s parents in Sankt Margarethen, a classic Austrian white wine village. This was their first exploration of white wine – a Weissburgunder – and then shortly after Chardonnay, produced in a more international (and less typically Austrian) style. But with his father teaching winemaking full-time, it became the sole focus of Hannes’ mother, Rosi, to lead and grow the winery.
“At the start, the winery was called Weingut Schuster. But my father said to my mother: ‘You are the winemaker and the winegrower, so your name should be on the label. My job is as a teacher in the school.’”
He helped with the occasional bit of tractor work, but Rosi was in charge – the head-honcho and the decision-maker. Thus, Hannes had grown up watching his mother successfully turn the winery into a well-oiled machine. After some years spent studying, he took on his first project for his mother and, as they say, the rest is history...