This new grüner veltliner comes from several vineyards in Jois containing the 3 major soils of this area - limestone, schist and loam. Following harvest, the grapes macerated on the skins prior to pressing. Native yeast fermentation was carried out in stainless steel and neutral oak fermentors, followed by ageing in netural oak ranging in size from 225L to 1300L. Battonage was expressed every week for 2 months before allowing the wine to settle naturally. The final wine is bottled un-fined and un-filtered.
The Altenburger family has farmed land in and around Jois since the 16th century. Like most farmers in the area, they cultivated livestock, crops, and vineyards. “After World War II, my grandparents were able to increase their wine business to be the most important income of their mixed agriculture,” Markus explains. “In 1999, when my parents, Matthias and Walpurga, were running the winery, they decided to rent out the rest of the farm and keep only the vineyards. They made easy-going wines to sell to tourists.” When Markus joined them in 2006, the family had 6.5 hectares and the proportion of red to white grapes was 30 to 70.” Six years later, Markus took full control of the estate. Since then, he has doubled the holdings, flipped that ratio, and converted the estate to organics, and is now pursuing Demeter biodynamic certification. He farms with an eye to soil vitality and rampant biodiversity. In the cellar, he favors native yeasts, minimal added sulphur, long, protective lees contact, and concrete and neutral wood for aging.
“I had a basic interest in my parents’ farming when I was a boy,” explains Markus. “Back then I was fascinated by being self-employed and living and working with nature. My parents always told me to study law or economics to get a good job and salary. I did study, but never had an ordinary job with a good salary! During my studies, I met Alois Kracher, from whom, within a few evenings, I learned that there is a wine world out there beyond Austria, where extraordinary wines are appreciated and that being a winegrower and maker is a worthy job.
That was also the time when Christian Tschida, Gerhard Kracher, Erich Scheiblhofer, Florian Gayer, and I co-founded Club Batonnage. At that time, our family winery was still making well-behaved wines and me and the boys were drinking fat Australian and Californian stuff. After finishing my studies, I started to work for a big winery in Austria, where I made a lot of international contacts and friendships. We were tasting Burgundy, Bordeaux, and German riesling like hell. Nowadays, I am still a fan of Burgundy, not so much of Bordeaux anymore, and I’m far more open-minded in my drinking and tasting habits.”