Schmelzers Weingut
Dion Pet Nat
Welschriesling, Scheurebe
Burgenland, Austria

Just before Georg Schmelzer turned 18, he was thrown in at the deep end. His father unexpectedly died, and suddenly he had to take care of a big winery. Even though his mother was still helping, it was a big push to get everything working like before. He soon went to Bordeaux during his studies and was suddenly convinced he should first focus on terroir. Soon he realized how important a good relationship with his vines is and started to take classes about organic farming. It is in 2007 where he learns about bio-dynamic farming and is instantly convinced to switch. Within three years, he entirely transformed the winery, and soon the grapes turned out even better than before. In 2015 the daughter Julia joined, and she is more and more taking on an essential role in the 15 hectares winery.

While Welschriesling is a well-known grape, Scheurebe or Sämling 88 - how it is called in Austria - spent most of its time in sweet wines as many believed it is inferior and too aromatic. I think it is just perfect for this Petillant Naturel. After the harvest, the grapes spent just hours on the skins, after which they are not pressed, but only the juice which naturally drips out of the grapes is used. This way, no bitterness from the seeds is getting into the must. Once the sugar is at the right level, it is bottled and finishes fermentation to create the bubbles. The result is a very yeasty ripe grapefruit juice with mild acidity. Drink it on the colder side with some savory starters or your favorite greasy fried food.

This wine is part of
Volume 28: The Castle Edition