News & Events
Awards left, right and centre for Astrum's Austrian Producers!!
Earlier this month we were delighted to hear that Markus Huber, the young, dynamic winemaker from the Traisental in Lower Austria, was awarded the title of Falstaff's Winegrower of the Year!!! Markus' outstanding ability to manage the winery with sensitivity and consistency, both in the vineyards and the cellars, has ensured that in a very short space of time he has established Huber as an internationally acclaimed leading producer and ambassador of the region, with a particular focus on purity, terroir and endless complexity. The editorial staff of Falstaff magazine expressed their admiration of the way Huber captures the particular Traisental terroir of limestone soils, cool climate and the River Danube: ‘It’s quite impressive, the way Markus Huber is able to articulate the particular “flavour” of the Traisental’s meagre limestone conglomerate soils and cool climate in his wines. For him, these elements of terroir translate as a matter of course.’
At 20 years old Markus became responsible for the family winery, where three quarters of the vineyard area is dedicated to Gruner Veltliner but his Riesling also offers an unmistakable expression of Traisental. ‘I am inspired anew every day by the beauty and the natural surroundings of the Traisental,’ says Markus Huber, ‘if I am able to express the unique nature of my home in the wines, and communicate this to the consumer – well, this makes me very happy.'
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Siblings Roman Josef Pfaffl and Heidemarie Fischer with their 170 acres of vineyards spread across the Weinviertel region and around the capital Vienna, swept the board of awards this year, with a plethora of wines awarded over 90 points by the Wine Enthusiast, Falstaff, Robert Parker and Jancis Robinson. Nearly every wine from their complete range has been awarded this excellent high score by one or more critic! Their Grüner Veltliner Reserve Hommage was given an outstanding 95 points by both Falstaff and the Wine Enthusiast. All the wines on our list performed excellently, with Falstaff awarding 92 points to Grüner Veltliner Hundsleiten Weinviertel DAC and 91 points to Grüner Veltliner Haidviertel Weinviertel DAC and both their blends Wein.1 and Wein.2 were rated in the top 10 of the magazine Genuss & Wein Pur.
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2015 is now the fifth year that Hans Tschida has won the IWC Sweet Winemaker of the Year award. His unbelievable consistancy in quality has won him a total of 40 IWC gold medals, 36 silver medals and four bronze medals as well as 19 trophies since 2010.
Hans cultivates 30 hectares surrounding Burgenland's quaint winemaking town of Illmitz on the right bank of Neusiedlersee, where his main grape varieties are Welschiesling, Chardonnay, Sämling 88 (Scheurebe), Muskat Ottonel, Traminer and Pinot Blanc. It is a place that seems to have been created to produce great sweet wines, with foggy autumn mornings giving way to dry sunny afternoons, producing perfect conditions for the development of noble rot.
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Excellent results were awarded by the Wine Enthusiast to the Johanneshof Reinisch estate in Tattendorf, in the Thermenregion wine-growing area of Lower Austria. Specialising in local grape varieties and traditions, the Reinisch family has its own vine nursery, cultivating indigenous grape varieties such as Rotgipfler and Zierfandler in their Gumpoldskirchen vineyards. Across the globe, there are roughly only 100 hectares (247 acres) remaining of these two indigenous white varieties, making the Reinisch’s offerings an unusual and unique glimpse into Austria’s wine roots. A staggering 95 points was awarded to both their Holzspur Pinot Noir and Holzspur St Laurent 2012, with the Rotgipfler picking up 90 and a selection from the rest of their range walking away with 92, 93 and 94 points. The region's geothermal hot springs flow under the vineyards and contribute to excellent wine growing conditions for finicky varieties and the Reinisch organic status and philosophy ensures the wine's expression of the terroir is at its most pure.
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Last, but certainly not least, is the outstanding producer Weninger who owns vineyard sites in both Austria and Hungary. Considered one of the pioneers of quality wine growing in Austria, Franz Weninger's approach to viticulture and winemaking is based on allowing the vines to find and reach their natural balance. The impact of his biodynamic winemaking since its implementation, has facilitated an incredible and consistant drive towards quality, and his continual experimenting and pushing the boundaries of modern winemaking establishes Weninger as a winery of utmost importance now and in the coming years.
Despite having won the 2014 Gault Millau Collection of the year, Franz tends not to enter his wines for awards. Besides, they really do speak for themselves... Exciting wines with an equally exciting philosophy.
Click here to discover more about Weninger and the wines we stock.