Owner | Franz Weninger. His son Franz Reinhard Weninger runs the family’s other estate Weninger Pincészet and which is nearby, just across the border in Balf in the Sopron region of Hungary.
Estate vineyards | 28ha. Red grapes (99%.) CS pioneer. Syrah, St Laurent, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Blaufränkisch, Blauburgunder (Pinot Noir), (Blauer) Zweigelt. White grapes (1%): Welschriesling, Sauvignon Blanc.
Dürrau: 1ha of Blaufränkisch, first planted in the 1960s (tried and tested to this site). Dürrau is the oldest and most renowned site in Horitschon, a flat ridge, slightly inclined southeast. Geology: Deeply weathered, lime-free, fine grained to clayey bedrock originating from Pannonian brackish to fresh water sediments. Age: about 8-10 million years. An especially deep, heavily loamy soil that is rich in clay (Stagnosol, lime-free, blocky structure, high water-storage capacity). Even in very dry times, there is still water on the Dürrau site, the disadvantage is that the roots have to push their way through the heavy, loamy soil – a job cut out for Blaufränkisch vines. Once the roots have pushed their way through it, they will always have enough water. In 1999 the estate vinified the Blaufränkisch from Dürrau as a single vineyard wine for the first time.
Hochäcker: ‘High field’. 5ha of Blaufränkisch, and Merlot. The Hochäcker site belongs to the oldest vineyards of Horitschon. Gentle slopes. Mountain ridge stretching from west to east. Soil: Gleyic Cambisol, deep topsoil, lime-free. Geology: Gravel (solifluction debris) on top of deep decomposed clay to silt originating from Pannonian brackish to fresh-water sediments. Age: approx. 8-10 million years. Its rock-free, hard, clay horizon is ferruginous and very close to the surface. It is an ideal soil for Blaufränkisch, which tends to extract the iron from the clay. The oldest vines on this site date from the 1920s.
Gfanger: North-east facing, so potentially a cool site but benefits from air that is heated by the Lake Neusiedl and makes Gfanger warmer than some south-facing slopes in Mittelburgenland. Lighter soil compared to other Horitschon sites, a low iron content and pH-value. Suits Sankt Laurent.
Kalkofen: ‘Chalk oven’, or ‘lime kiln’. 5 hectares of Pinot Noir on a southwestern flattish slope in the village of Ritzing (which neighbours Horitschon). 360 metres. This southern exposure provides the ideal conditions for Pinot Noir. Soil: Rendzic Leptosol, thin topsoil, very chalky, loose limstone, very rich in lime and named Eurendsina. Geology: Calcareous debris originating from brackish to sea water limestone of the middle Miocene. Age: 11-16 million years. The loose limestone soil can be easily penetrated by the roots of the grape vines (to a depth of 5 metres).
Kirchholz: ‘Church wood’. 1.5ha of Blaufränkisch. The Kirchholz site is one of the oldest sites in Horitschon, a mountain ridge stretching from west to east and slightly sloping to both sides. Soil: Gleyic Cambisol, lime-free, moderately heavy, high root penetration. Geology: coarse gravel on deep decomposed clay to silt Pannonian fresh-water sediments. Age: approx. 10 million years. As with the adjacent Hochäcker site the soil here is rich in loam and clay. Thus, the subsoil resembles other vineyards in its content of clay and loam. But the loamy top layer is interspersed up to half a metre with sandy pebbles and partly mixed with coarse gravel, whereby the soil becomes more permeable. Thus, although Kirchholz is directly adjacent to the Hochäcker site the soil here is lighter and more porous. This site has also been dedicated to Blaufränkisch. To emphasize the terroir of this rocky soil the grapes from these parcels were vinified and aged separately for the first time in 2003.
Raga: 2ha of Zweigelt and Merlot. Flat, slightly sloping to the south-southwest. Soil: Gleyic Cambisol, deep topsoil, chalky. Geology: Decomposed clay to silt originating from calcareous Pannonian brackish to freshwater sediments. Age: 8-10 million years old. Zweigelt takes root best in less heavy, loamy soils. And Merlot appreciates the proximity to the Raga woods and deep, friable brown soil.
Saybritz: 0.6ha of mainly Blaufränkisch owned by family members in the Saybritz, a site in Eisenberg in southern Burgenland. 0.6 hectares of vines. Extremely steep, south-facing.
Certification | 2006 First use of Biodynamic practices. | 2016 Full Demeter Biodynamic certification since 2016. | 2019 Still Demeter-certified.
Weninger White, Gemischter Satz | A Gemischter Satz in which the grapes are picked and fermented together, in this case from an old vineyard on the Hochäcker site (see above). Whole bunches, including the stems are foot-trodden. After pressing, the wine is aged in wooden barrels or clay amphoras.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Horitschon | From two vineyards in Horitschon, Hochäcker and Raga (see above).
Blaufrankisch, Horitschoner Blaufrankisch | 2012 Firm and nicely fresh-fruited at Millésime Bio 2014.
Blaufrankisch, Kirchholz | Kirchholz is one of the oldest sites in Horitschon. As with the adjacent Hochäcker site the soil here is rich in loam and clay. Thus, the subsoil resembles other vineyards in its content of clay and loam. But the loamy top layer is interspersed up to half a metre with sandy pebbles and partly mixed with coarse gravel, whereby the soil becomes more permeable. | 2003 First vintage bottled apart as a single site wine.
Blaufrankisch, Hochacker | The Hochäcker site belongs to the oldest vineyards of Horitschon (Mittelburgenland). Its rock-free, hard, clay horizon is ferruginous and very close to the surface making it an ideal soil for Blaufränkisch, which tends to extract the iron from the clay. | 2008 13%. | 2011 Elegant and refreshing at Millésime Bio 2014.
Blaufrankisch, Ried Durrau | The top site-specific Blaufränkisch comes from the Ried Dürrau site (see above). | 1999 Ried Dürrau made as a single vineyard wine for the first time. | 2012 ‘Melancholic’ Franz Reinhard told me at Millésime Bio 2014. | 2013 Blaufränkisch. New oak, saline backbone, lovely flow at Tenuta Manicor 24th June 2016.
Blaufrankisch, Saybritz | From the Saybritz site in Eisenberg. Belongs to Franz Reinhard Weninger’s aunt. See above for details of this site. | 2011 Smooth, bite at end, black fruits, pepper, good at Millésime Bio 2014.
Blaufrankisch, Alte Reben | ‘Blaufränkisch old vines.’ | 2006 Old family vines bottled apart for the first time. | 2007 13%. | 2008 13%.
Franz | Franz is made from the most powerful grape varieties of the Horitschon vineyards, Blaufränkisch and Merlot. | 2008 Burgenland. Blaufränkisch, Merlot. 13%.
Merlot | Merlot from the Raga and Hochäcker sites (see above). Originally planted to be blended with other red grapes, but on such deep loamy soils and since 1995 it has been made as a varietal wine. 24 months in oak.
Pinot noir, Kalkhofen | From the Kalkofen site, see above. | 2016 Burgenland. 13%. Clear, rich, elegant fruit, appetising and generous (tasted Oct 2019).
St Laurent, Gfanger | St Laurent from the Gfanger vineyard (see above).
Veratina | A red blend. Top cuvée. Name for daughters Verena and Martin. Blend of Blaufränkisch, Zweigelt, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Zweigelt | From the Gfanger vineyard (see above).| 2008 Zweigelt, Burgenland. 12%.
Zweigelt, Raga | Zweigelt from the Raga vineyard (see above).
A-7312 Horitschon, Austria |
Tel+43 02610.42165 | www.weninger.com