Strohmeier is a winery in Sankt Stefan ob Stainz, a municipality in the district of Deutschlandsberg the Weststeiermark or Western Styria region (Steirerland) of Austria. Records show their vineyard in Lestein was first officially documented in the 14th century.

Owner: Christine and Franz Strohmeier. Since 2003 Christine and Franz Strohmeier have been working to produce completely natural wines without any additives or chemicals and almost exclusively sulphur free.

Estate vineyards: The estate is located near St.Stefan / Stainz in the West Styrian wine region at an elevation of 424 m. It is situated at the South-Eastern foothills of the Alps at the base of the Koralpe mountains.

Climate zone: Illyrian, meaning panonish with more precipitation through the Adriatic influence), cool currents from the Koralpe mountain cause regular rain storms; thereby providing a good distribution of rainfall (approx. 1000 mm / year). Intense sun provides an abundance of warmth for the vines which supports a long growing season. This ranges from late March to late October (harvest: early to late October) and allows for the slow and sustainable ripening of the grapes.

Viticulture: Aimed at promoting healthy soil structure; grass between the vines is only mowed twice a year, the use of tractors between the vines is minimised to prevent the soil from compacting and all forms of life are encouraged from the smallest cell to highly developed plants and animals. The primary principle throughout the process, from the vineyard to the drinking experience is “let all develop on its own” and thus rely on “how it really is”.

Copper- and sulfur based sprays: The owners say ‘Copper and and sulfur treatments are necessary in small amounts and dependent on the timing and number of treatments, too. Depending on the vineyard, we use from 0.3 kg to 2.0 kg of pure copper per hectare, per year. In 2011 we replaced Sulfur with whey, but use of sulfur might be still necessary during the early treatment phase until blossoming. We allow the soil to retain its natural plants and fauna and mulch a maximum of two times. This is done in an alternating way, i.e. only every second row in the vineyard is mulched to allow enough space for an uninterrupted blossoming natural environment for indigenous insects and animals.’

Organic certification: Went organic in 2003 (Austria Bio Garantie). Use BD practices. They may no longer be certified.

Pink wines

Liebe und Zeit Rosewein2008 Blauer Wildbacher. No added sulfites (Isabelle Legeron MW: 2014, p.176).

Contact

Lestein 148

A-8511 St Stefan/Stainz, Austria

Tel+43 0676.9623192

Website www.strohmeier.at

Bibliography

Isabelle Legeron MW, Natural Wine, An introduction to organic and biodynamic wines grown naturally (2014, Cico Books, London & New York).