Weingut Wassmann | Biodynamic estate winery in the Villány-Siklós region of Hungary.

The project began in 1998 when Ralf Wassmann and Susann Hanauer bought a farm, built in the style of the Swabian settlers, plus some vineyard land: a south-facing plot of Chardonnay and Olaszriesling vines which was interspersed with almond and peach trees (promiscuous culture) and another adjacent one planted with Portugieser.

The couple made their first wines in 2002 [check]. In 2004 the couple leased half a hectare of Merlot, as well as Kékfrankos, Portugieser and Italian Riesling, and purchased another plot on which they planted Kékfrankos. In 2006 they produced their first Villány organic wine made from Portugieser. In 2007 they purchased more land for organic grape production. In 2008 they founded their on EU-compliant import company, based in Germany (Weinhandlung Ralf Wassmann, Wulften). 2009 The owners started to offer advice to other local wine-growers interested in changing to organic production.

People | Ralf grew up in the western Harz region of Germany where he made wine from cherries, rosehips and gooseberries, in the absence of grapes. He later studied the science of wine-growing and beverage technology. Susann studied law in Tübingen and Heidelberg and having worked in the legal profession marketed Bordeaux wines in Germany. Since 2010 the couple have been advising other wine growers seeking to go organic.

Vineyards | 2 hectares (4.9 acres) of vines in the town of Siklos, the biggest town in the Villány region. The vines are south-facing vineyards on two sites called Varoshegy (‘Town Hill’) and Hidegkut (‘Well cooled hill’). There are 0.2 hectares (0.4 acres) of Olaszriszling (Welschriesling in German) planted in 1992, and 0.05 hectares (0.12 acres) of Chardonnay for white wine. There are 0.45 hectares (1.11 acres) of Cabernet Franc planted in 2007, 0.3 hectares (0.74 acres) of Cabernet Sauvignon planted in 2007, 0.55 hectares (1.26 acres) of Kékfrankos (Lemberger or Blaufränkisch in German) planted in 1985, 2005 and 20076, 0.2 hectares (0.4 acres) of Portugieser planted 1985 and 1989, and 0.25 hectares (0.61 acres) of Merlot.

Polyculture | 0.5 hectares (1.23 acres) of fruit trees and spare land.

Certification | 2006+ Full organic certification (the first in Villány). 2012 First vintage with full Demeter biodynamic certification (the first in Villány, second in Hungary after Pendits).

Winery | The cellar is situated in Pécsdevecser, a small village about 9 miles (15 km) north of Villány itself.

Sparkling Wines

Morizz Rosé Winzersekt | 2014 Brut Nature. Traditional method. Portugieser. 0.5g/l residual sugar = bone dry. 11.5% alcohol. 60ppm sulfites. Hand disgorged. Firm, some green notes (Demeter Serbia tasting 2017).

Welschriesling | 2016 30 months on less. Hand disgorged. Unfiltered. 0.5g/l residual sugar. Nice old vine texture (Demeter Serbia tasting 2017). | 2016 Lovely salty weight in 2018 (‘Biodynamic Pioneers’ masterclass 2018).

White wines

Karlotta | 2014 Chardonnay, Welschriesling blend. Unfiltered. Very savoury, ageing well (Demeter Austria tasting 2018). | 2016 Chardonnay, Welschriesling blend. Unfiltered. 13% alcohol. Vibrant, fluid (Demeter Austria tasting 2018).

Welschriesling | 2014 12.5%. 24ppm sulfites. 1,000 bottles. Wildish, creamy (Demeter Serbia tasting 2017).

Red Wines

Cabernet Franc | 2014 Planted 2007. French oak. 24ppm sulfites. 13% alcohol. Lovely fruit (Demeter Serbia tasting 2017). Lovely bright fruit, very Cab Franc (Demeter Austria tasting 2018). Good varietal character (‘Biodynamic Pioneers’ masterclass 2018).

Cabernet Sauvignon | 2014 French oak. 30ppm sulfites. 13.5% alcohol. Firmish, sapid, hint of green (Demeter Austria tasting 2018).

Kékfrankos Villany | 2014 Fermented in open vats. Punched down. Aged in used barrels. 40ppm sulfites. Unfined, unfiltered. 12% alcohol. Old oak shows, slightly masking nice fruit beneath (Demeter Serbia tasting 2017). Nice sappy fruit (Demeter Austria tasting 2018).

Merlot | 2014 12% alcohol. 61ppm sulfites. Bramble fruit, ready to drink (Demeter Austria tasting 2018).

Contact 

Weingut Wassmann – Wassmann Pince BT

Fo utca 42,

H-7766 Pécsdevecser, Hungary

www.weingut-wassmann.de

Bibliography

‘Biodynamic Pioneers’ masterclass 2018, VINCE wine show in Budapest, 05th April hosted by Monty Waldin.

Demeter Austria tasting 2018, Vienna 26th February.

Demeter Serbia tasting 2017, Vrsac 09 December.