Franz Strohmeier is a visionary natural winemaker, working in the Steiermark part of Styria, known as the “Green Heart” of Austria. Franz is a very philosophical winemaker – who is never contented to make wine like the establishments around him – always making the decisions that expresses his terroir in the most natural way. He is constantly tinkering with his 8-hectares of vines to find better and more natural methods. An example most recently, was his use of whey (the liquid part of milk produced in cheese production) to spray his grapes, instead of copper sulfate. He has some portion of his grapes growing wild, without pruning, that produce very small intensely flavored grapes. Franz does not subscribe to any certified biodynamic organization, although many of his methods sound biodynamic to us. If a malady strikes a vine, he often prefers to not treat it. Instead he prefers to forgo those vines, saying the vineyard as a whole gains in health from a little bit of sickness, showing how biodiversity is of chief concern. He makes wines that are like nothing else we have ever tasted, a true display of the unique terroir of this region. Franz makes sparkling wines with great finesse and stability, perfect for every day drinking and pairing with a wide variety of foods. He also makes white wines with subtle amounts of skin contact, the TLZ line, of which we are very excited to feature two fine wines, the Weiss and Sonne that are amazingly crafted zero sulfur wines for special occasions. - Jenny & Francois
Vineyard: Lestein. Steep slope with loamy Opok soil close to Franz’s house, minimally pruned.
Making of: the grapes are manually harvested and destemmed. Part of them ferments as whole berries, part is crushed and macerated on skins until the fermentation starts. Soft press, spontaneous fermentation in steel tank and wooden barrel for 6 months, spontaneous malolactic fermentation. Yeast and sugar addition for the second fermentation in bottles. Unfined, unfiltered, undisgorged, no SO2 added.
Personality: utterly delicious! Light dry red with a gentle fizz and heaps of red fruit and spicy undertones. Serve well chilled in big glasses for sparkling wine.
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