respekt–BIODYN is an association of European Biodynamic estate winegrowers (each member is the winemaker in person) with its own charter for wine-growing and winemaking. It was founded by 12 winemakers (see below) in 2007 (2005?) as respekt (sic), but in 2015 the name changed to respekt-BIODYN (sic) to make its Biodynamic way of working clearer. The original members came from Austria, Germany and South Tyrol (now part of Italy, formerly Austrian), meaning German is the common language of the association. respekt-BIODYN’s formation was preceded by an intensive training phase with the agricultural ecologist and Biodynamic consultant, the late Dr Andrew Lorand (1957-2017). The stated aim was to work collectively whilst creating wines with more individuality.
Chair: 2019 Michael Goëss-Enzenberg is Chairman, Fred Loimer co-chairman.
Certification: respekt-BIODYN has its own certification trademark for Biodynamic wine-growing since 2011. This conforms to EU norms regarding organic wine-growing and winemaking whilst adding its own stricter private (Biodynamic) standards to both these aspects of wine production. Respekt won a court case against Demeter re use of the term ‘Biodynamic’ in Europe, arguing successfully that ‘Biodynamic’ was a working method rather than a brand. In the USA respekt-BIODYN wine labels may not carry the ‘Biodyn’ stamp on the label and use ‘respekt Wine’ instead.
The admission procedure: Criteria for admission include participation in the respekt education programme, a one-year mentorship by an existing respekt member, and the three-year transitional phase for wineries in conversion to organic management (two for already organic operations). Additional criteria include rules on the winemaking (see below), and the taste of the wine. Aspiring respekt-BIODYN members have their wines tasted by the Executive Board which must agree unanimously. Respekt co-chairman Fred Loimer says “it is important that the respekt association is open to every type of wine: from fresh and fruity through classic and matured, to orange. But everything at the highest level.’
Guidelines: In 2016, the respekt-BIODYN guidelines, containing aspects of modern agroecology and social, ecological, and economic sustainability, were revised. New cellar guidelines were adopted for still red, white and pink wines, for natural wine, and for traditional method and other sparkling wines. Each individual category is clearly defined and leaves no room for interpretation. The guidelines go beyond EU organic regulations. The respekt-BIODYN training programme is open to all winemakers and wine experts, the aim being to see improvements in wine-growing and wine quality as a partnership with nature and with fellow growers. To download a pdf of the respekt-BIODYN winemaking guidelines click here.
Member wineries – chronology
2007: 12 founder members. These were Paul Achs (Gols, Burgenland), Judith Beck (Gols, Burgenland), Kurt Feiler (Rust, Burgenland), Karl Fritsch (Wagram), Gernot & Heike Heinrich (Gols, Burgenland), Johannes Hirsch (Kamptal), Fred Loimer (Kamptal), Hans & Anita Nittnaus (Gols, Burgenland), Bernhard Ott (Wagram), Gerhard and Brigitte Pittnauer (Gols, Burgenland), and Claus Preisinger (Gols, Burgenland) which are all in Austria, and Michael and Sophie Goëss-Enzenberg of Manincor (in Kaltern or Caldaro, in the formerly Austrian but now Italian region of South-Tyrol).
2009: Andreas Gsellmann (Gols, Burgenland), Franz Weninger and Fritz Wieninger joined the group, making 15 in total.
2015: Clemens Busch, Steffen and Sophie Christmann, Hansjörg Rebholz, Philipp Wittmann.
2016 Karlheinz & Franz Wehrheim, Hajszan Neumann (Fritz Wieninger).
2017 In March 2017 respekt-BIODYN had 22 member wineries from Austria, Germany, Italy, and Hungary cultivating a total vineyard area of around 600 hectares (1,482 acres). They were: Paul Achs, Judith Beck, Clemens Busch, Steffen Christmann, Kurt Feiler (Feiler-Artinger), Karl Fritsch, Michael Goëss-Enzenberg of Manincor, Andreas Gsellmann (Gols, Burgenland), Gernot & Heike Heinrich, Johannes Hirsch, Fred Loimer, Hans & Anita Nittnaus, Bernhard Ott, Gerhard Pittnauer, Claus Preisinger, Hansjörg Rebholz, Karlheinz & Franz Wehrheim, Franz Weninger (Mittelburgenland), Fritz Wieninger/Hajszan Neumann & Wieninger (Wien [Vienna]), Philipp Wittmann, Herbert & Carmen Zillinger. | 2018 Martin and Georg Fusser Joined. | 2020: 25 estates with 780ha of vines plus another 75ha in conversion. | 2021 Sven Leiner, Willi Sattler joined.
Member wineries by country
Austria – Burgenland: Andreas Gsellmann (Gols, 2009). | Claus Preisinger (Gols, 2007. | Weingut Weninger (Franz R Weninger). | Gerhard & Brigitte Pittnauer (Gols, 2007). | Gernot & Heike Heinrich (Gols, 2007). | Hans & Anita Nittnaus (Gols, 2007). | Judith Beck (Gols, 2007). | Kurt Feiler (Rust), 2007. | Paul Achs (Gols, 2007).
Austria – Kamptal: Johannes Hirsch (Kammern, 2007). | Fred Loimer (Kamptal, 2007).
Austria – Weinviertel: Weingut Herbert Zillinger, 2016).
Austria – Südstiermark: Weingut Sattlerhof ().
Germany – Mosel: Clemens Busch (2015).
Germany – Rheinhessen: Weingut Wittmann (Philipp Wittmann, 2015).
Hungary – Sopron: Weingut Weninger (Franz R Weninger).
Italy – South-Tyrol: Manincor (2007).
Biodynamic Wine (Infinite Ideas, 2016).