Markus Altenburger
Weiss Skin and Stones
Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat Ottonel, Traminer, Neuburger, Grüner Veltliner, Welschriesling
Burgenland, Austria

Like many other wineries in the area, it all started as a farm with animals about 400 years ago, and in 2006, when Markus took over, he put more focus on the wine. Initially, they owned 6.5 hectares, and he would get grapes from winemakers in the area. Over the years, he acquired more and more plots and now owns more than 17 hectares and doesn’t buy any grapes anymore. In 2014 he made the switch to organic farming and never looked back. Plans are to convert to bio-dynamic pretty soon. With a focus on native varieties, especially Blaufränkisch, they keep up that Austrian heritage and push out some of the best reds in Austria. Together with his wife, he is also making some serious rosé wines influenced by French winemaking.

What a wine! It’s a field blend of almost all the white grapes Markus’ grows. The vines are between 3 and 45 years old, and most of them grow on limestone. After the harvest between the end of August and the beginning of September, half of them are destemmed and pressed after two days of maceration. The other half is fermented on the skins for two weeks, adding some excellent grip and color to the mix. They continue to ferment and age parts in oak and the other part in concrete eggs. After 17 months, it is ready to be bottled; with no filtration and a tiny bit of sulfur, off it goes. The extra year shows in every respect: more depth and complexity with notes of zesty citrus and nuts, it morphs into a silky and juicy food companion happy to support most dinner plans.

This wine is part of
Volume 28: The Castle Edition