Vinification: Grapes are hand harvested, destemmed, and crushed by foot. Some of the skins are left in contact with the juice for 2 weeks, and some is left in contact for 4 weeks, making Christian’s only orange wine. The juice ferments in large barrels with indigenous yeast and no racking. It spends 1 year aging in 500 to 1500-liter barrels and is bottled without fining or filtering and no addition of sulfur.
Christian Tschida has the great fortune to cultivate 10-hectares of old vines that have been with his family for 4 generations, since the 19th century. The winery is located in the Neusiedler-See part of Burgenland, the eastern most point of Austria, more traditionally known for red and sweet wine production. The vineyards consist of sandy gravel, schist and limestone, which all enjoy a moderating influence from the extremely large and nearby Lake Neusiedler. Christian takes a hands-off approach to winemaking, where the wines spend a great deal of time in barrel in contact with oxygen, some for as many as 5 years before bottling. He says the key to all his wines is the vertical basket press he uses. This tool is like a modern re-imagining of an old manual screw press. Christian says he uses very light pressure when he presses, comparable to the amount of pressure a hand shake would exert. By doing this he extracts only the best juice from the grapes. He then returns the must and remaining juice to the vines, in a special preparation he makes to aid the health of the vineyard.
Christian ferments all of his wines in closed top tanks that sit outside in the shade, in which the grapes are foot stomped. After which the juice is moved inside to barrel for aging. As of the 2015 vintage, all of Christian’s wines are made without any additions of sulfur. The wines are never racked, and everything is bottled by hand to preserve the freshness of the wine and leave a little residual carbon dioxide to aid preservation.
Grapes: Scheurebe and several clones of Muscat
Tasting: Savory herbs, orange & grapefruit, stony minerality