Judith Beck is a Biodynamic wine producer in Gols, a town in the Wagram (previously Donauland) region of Austria. Her parents, Matthias and Christine Beck founded the estate in 1976. Judith Beck studied viticulture and oenology at Klosterneuburg. She interned at Château Cos d’Estournel in Bordeaux, Braida in Piemonte and Errazuriz in Chile. Her first full vintage at the family winery was 2001 and 2004 was her first as director of operations. Naturalness and identity are the features Judith says she wants to see and to show in her wines.
Biodynamics: Judith started working with the Biodynamic consultant, the late Dr Andrew Lorand, in 2007 and became a member of the respekt-BIODYN group. She hand stirs the Biodynamic field spray preparations 500, 501, 508. At Millésime Bio 2014 she told me she sprays Horn manure 500 three times per season, initially all three early in the season, but now in October, May and June.
I asked Judith if she got into Biodynamics when she was in Bordeaux, and she wrote this to me: ‘When I was in Bordeaux in 1998 there was no sign of biodynamics there. At least I didn’t see anything of it. Plus, I was very young and had no idea of biodynamics at all. For me this only started in 2004/2005 when we (in the Pannobile group) started to discuss a lot about how we should continue working in the vineyards.’
Why Biodynamic?: ‘International style wines can be produced by everyone, everywhere. My wines are my own. They are here and now. And that is, for me, the most beautiful thing,’ Judith says.
Certification: 2009 First vintage with full organic certification. | 2017 Certified Biodynamic by respekt-BIODYN. | 2021 Certified Biodynamic by respekt-BIODYN.
Vineyards: Since 1976 the area under vine has increased from 5 to 15ha–90% red (Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch, St. Laurent and Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc).
Terroir: The vines lie mostly on the slopes and the hills of the Wagram, east of Lake Neusiedlersee, whose close proximity benefits the vines. This is the name of the area of slopes which are, for the most part, sun-exposed and rise from the lowlands east of the Neusiedler See lake to the so-called Parndorfer Platte. The soils here are extremely diverse, ideal for wines that reflect their origin.
Sites on the Parndorf Plate Gravel plateau, for example Schafleiten (160 metres on sandy loam with medium gravel content) and Goldberg (very clayey, partially sandy), suit St. Laurent, Pinot Noir and Zweigelt.
Sites on the slopes at the flank of the Parndorf Plate which face south-west on sandy-loamy soils with chalky inclusions, such as Altenberg and Gabarinza, are well suited to Blaufränkisch and Merlot.
In Gols, the Heideboden is a flat site close to the lake in a Tectonic depression on Seewinkel gravel, well suited for Zweigelt and white varieties. Raitacker is on reddish gravelly soil.
White wines: Judith says that ‘due to the warm climate and the very light soils, we usually produce powerful white wines, with around 13-14% alcohol. The region around Lake Neusiedl is particularly suited to cultivate Burgundy varieties like Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Neuburger. The full bodied nature of our white wines means all varieties age in barrels. The classic line (White Burgundy, Chardonnay) are fermented and matured in large wooden casks.’
Red wines: Judith says that ‘reds ferment spontaneously in stainless steel tanks , barrels or open wooden vats. Large oak casks (and barrels) are used for ageing, and suit the fruit profile of both Zweigelt and Blaufränkisch. Wine needs to breath to develop thoroughly; hence we do not use stainless steel tanks for maturation at all.’
Chardonnay, Bambule!: Bambule = skin contact and no additives eg. sulfites. Judith says ‘this is a wine that requires some time. It’s skin fermented for about 2 weeks, then pressed, and ages 15 months in old barrels on the whole lees. The aromas are always quite reductive at first, then slowly, they start to evolve and change completely. Valerian, black tea and apricots are taking over and the initially pronounced become integrated. Bottled without filtration, no SO2 added. Vines: 100% Chardonnay on a plateau at 130 metres on Seewinkel gravel. | 2011 3 weeks’ maceration on the skins. 22m in old barrels, on the lees. | 2013 No added sulfites (Source: catalogue for RAW 2015). | 2014 14-21 days on skins. Very savoury again. Nice lemony fruit, but dried a bit by the band-aid (Tenuta Manincor 24th June 2016). | 2018 Bio-Landwein aus Österreich. 12.5% alc. Bone dry. 2,000 bottles. Chardonnay. Vines 20-30 years old. Handpicked. 50hl per hectare. 100% de-stemmed. Ferments on skins in an open vat for about 2 weeks, is then pressed and aged 15 months in old barrels on fine lees. Unfiltered. No added sulfites.
Burgenland Chardonnay: 2012 Barrel fermented. 6m on lees in barrel.
Burgenland Neubuger, Bambule!: Bambule = skin contact and no additives.
Burgenland Neubuger: 2012 From the Raitacker vineyard (see above). 5 days on skins. 12m on lees in barrel. | 2013 Fermented and aged in fass. Very nice texture, delicate Turkish Delight, dry (Millésime Bio 2014).
Burgenland Weissburgunder: Grown on Seewinkelschotter (gravel and black earth. 130 metres. | 2012 Hand picked. WBP. Fermented in 15hl casks. 6m on lees in acacia wooden casks.
Burgenland Blaufränkisch: 2012 From vines in Gols and Neusidl. 12m in used barrels. | 2019 Organic, wild yeast, spontaneous fermentation in wooden fermenters. 10 months in used barrels. 12% alc. Vegan, unfined, unfiltered.
Burgenland Blaufränkisch, Bambule!: 2018 Blaufränkisch on loam, sand and limestone. Made in a mix of clay amphora and oak. Fermented spontaneously, no temperature control. Unfined, unfiltered, no added sulfites.
Burgenland Blaufränkisch Alte Lagen: 2011 From the Altenberg vineyard. | 2013 26 mg/l total sulfites (RAW 2015).
Heideboden: 2011 60% Zweigelt, 20% Blaufränkisch, 20% St Laurent. 18m in used barrels.
Judith: 2011 75% Blaufränkisch (Gabarinza vineyard), 25% St Laurent (Schafleiten). 20m in oak with MLF in oak. 59 mg/l total sulfites (RAW 2015).
Pannobile Cuvée: 2011 60% Zweigelt, 30% Blaufränkisch, 10% St Laurent. | 2012 48 mg/l total sulfites (RAW 2015).
Pinot Noir: 2011 Fermented in open vats.
St Laurent, Schafleiten: From the Schafleiten vineyard (see above). | 2011 15m in barrel. Blackberry and apple, very vibrant, lots of fruit, good (Millésime Bio 2014). | 2013 30 mg/l total sulfites (RAW 2015).
Zweigelt: 2012 From the Heideboden in Gols. 10m in used barrels.
Zweigelt Goldberg: From the Goldberg vineyard (see above). | 2012 24m in barrel. 50% new oak.
Beck Ink: 2013 Zweigelt and St Laurent. Barrel aged (older oak). 42 mg/l total sulfites (RAW 2015).
Weingut Judith Beck
In den Reben 1
A-7122 Gols, Austria
Tel+43 2173 2755 | www.weingut-beck.at