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The inspiring Mitchlits family own and run this model biodynamic 2,000 hectare estate in the Burgenland region of Austria that fully captures the essence of the holistic philosophy that is so much a central core of biodynamism. This is integrative agriculture that nourishes the land as it nurtures production. Angela looks after the winemaking whislt her husband, Werner, is the overall operational manager. Werner’s younger brother is responsible for the herd of Angus steers that roam across the grasslands of their Pannonian estate. This is unique in the Austrian wine community – the herd being the source for the nutritious, organic dung that brings so much natural goodness to the 55 hectares of family vineyards. The family are also meticulous fruit growers and can also claim to have started the first holistic Demeter certified brewery where they craft ancient grain beer from old varieties of wheat. Dedicated & driven, the family stand out from the crowd.
Burgenland is the second largest wine-producing region in Austria bordering Hungary to the east. This is the home of red-wine production, with a focus on Zweigelt and Blaufränkisch grape varieties, occupying a narrow strip of land that runs from the Danube River down to Steiermark in the south.The Pannonian plain encourages warm, easterly winds which coupled with relatively high sunshine hours creates excellent conditions for the production of quality red wines. The mineral-rich volcanic soils are ideal for the vines. Basalt and loess weather together with light layers of sand to make fertile soils. They are loose, well-aerated and retain heat – the perfect conditions for vines. Robust and healthy vines can only grow in soil which is alive, and gives wines of character and individuality. The aim is to create natural and stable habitats for their vines’ co-habitants (natural plants & insects). This is how vine plantations become vineyards. In the cellar only indigenous yeasts are used, there is no fining or filtration and sulphur levels are kept very low. Movement of wine is by gravity with fermentation and maturation being conducted in stainless steel, large used oak barrels or concrete eggs. The Zweigelt and Pinot Gris “Graupert” wines are fashioned from vines that are left to grow totally wild without pruning or trellising – a unique expression of the grape results. These vines produce fewer bunches of thicker-skinned, smaller, and more concentrated grapes, giving a pure expression of their terroir.
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