Fehérburgundi 2020 — Pinot Blanc
A Wine That
is a testament to the great potential of Pinot Blanc - one of Europe's most underestimated grape varieties (Fehrérburgundi is its Hungarian name). The grape is a 'true terroir translator' and shows that beautiful quality of 'minerality' that we all seek. It's all about flintiness and freshness, with a subtle creaminess on the palate that keeps us longing for more. Think freshly whipped butter with a dash of sea salt.
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- Winemaker: Franz Weninger
Where and How?
The Pinot Blanc here is grown biodynamically in two vineyards around the Hungarian town of Sopron, named Steiner and Frettner. Back in 1999, the Weningers had intended to plant Pinot Noir in Fettner. When the vines began producing, however, it turned out the fruit was white — it was Fehérburgundi (Pinot Blanc)! This turned into a happy accident, as the potential of the grape variety in this region became clear. More was subsequently planted, and Franz began additional focus on white wines.
The grapes were hand harvested, after which they were directly pressed. The juice fermented naturally in big wooden barrels, where the wine aged for 11 months on the fine lees. Malolactic fermentation (the process when the harsher malic acid converts to the softer lactic acid) also occurred naturally, giving the wine its lick of creaminess.
Franz could literally be characterized as a crossover-artist. He is the sort of winemaker that is deeply rooted in his region, believing in the tradition of indigenous varieties like Blaufränkisch, while at the same time never shying away to experiment with new ideas and techniques that could lead him to exciting results.
Franz and his family stand out for their conviction to the recultivation of long-forgotten vineyard sites on the border to Austria in the Hungarian village of Balf, once the epicentre of the region's winemaking production. For him, the history of the area is beyond today’s political boundaries - he is a firm believer of the Pannonian cultural heritage and is eager to transmit this message in all of his bottlings, both those made in Austria and those in Hungary.