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A new, more widely travelled and internationally trained generation of Austrian winemakers is now at the helm of many traditional establishments. They have revolutionised the work in the vineyard and in the cellars, combining an international outlook with an unwavering devotion to indigenous grape varietals and wine styles. Their dedication and efforts have allowed the wines of Austria to make another leap in quality and worldwide recognition, leading to the opening of markets abroad, and to a renewed interest in this old wine country and its new wines. Franz Schneider and his Artisan Wines project (established in 2009) is part of this club.
Thirty-something Franz took over the estate from his parents in 2009, taking care of all aspects of the business (form vineyards to marketing) with his MSc in Viticulture and Enology along with his wife Ulli, trained as well in the wine world and business. The couple has twins aged two years.
Based in the north eastern part of the lake Neusiedl in the village of Halbturn (resident population: 2.000), Artisan Wines has reached considerable attention and interest by wine critics, in Austria often so conservative, and general public.
Just a conventional winery? When asked about farming methods Franz replies: “Within our integrated cultivation of the vineyards, we apply a combination of biological, mechanical and chemical procedures in respect of recent scientific research. Due to this mixture, our intervention on the environment is minimized in terms of CO2 output. All non-avoidable CO2-emissions are compensated by donations to Climate Protection projects certified by Climate Austria”.
Ideal wine for hot summer nights. Welschriesling is Vitis Vinifera unrelated to the Rhine varietal and grows predominantly in Central Europe and northern Italy where it is known as Riesling Italico. Burgendland is the main Austrian area and Franz Schneider of Artisan benefits from proximity to Lake Neusiedl and its warmer microclimate. Franz practices sustainable farming and natural winemaking and experiments with other varietals such as Grauburgunder, Sankt Laurent and of course Zweigelt.
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