This month, we talk to the wonderful family winery Domäne Baumgartner, based in Austria.
Family winery Domäne Baumgartner, located in Untermarkersdorf in the Weinviertel, Austria, is the largest Austrian winery with 200 hectares of vineyards. Using three century-old traditions, our wines meet the highest quality standards and have a distinctive style. The motto of the winery is “wine is fruit in the bottle“.
What grapes do you grow, and how does the climate and terroir help the varieties to flourish?
Domäne Baumgartner is one of largest producers of Weinviertel-DAC wines, so the varieties Grüner Veltliner and Blauer Zweigelt are key, but we also produce other special varieties as well. Currently over 20 different varieties are cultivated in our vineyards. The grapes grow well here because the clay and loess soil make it possible to produce the typical Grüner Veltliner as well as full bodied, velvety red wines.
Tell us about your eco, sustainable and ethical practices:
Our processing and a part of our 200 hectares are certified according to organic guidelines. The Domäne Baumgartner is also “IFS Food” and “Sustainable Austria” certified. “Sustainable Austria” is a seal of approval for wines produced in a sustainable fashion. They are produced in observance of certain economic, ecological and social criteria. The entire production process is critically examined for its contribution to sustainability. Sparing use of water, energy, chemical fertilisers and efficient use of machinery are among those aspects positively evaluated – as are providing fair working conditions and sustainable business practices.
If you’d could fix one problem in the industry today, what would it be?
I would like to dispel the prejudice that only small wineries produce good quality. Despite the size of our winery, our heart and soul is in every drop of our wine. We are a family winery, and with our modern equipment we are able to produce excellent wines in larger quantities.
What excites you most about the future?
For almost 300 years now, the family has taken the right steps to accept the challenges of the times and master them. We are excited about the challenges of the future and are looking forward to meeting them with innovative and creative ideas.
To what do you attribute your success?
The viticultural history of the Baumgartner domain can be traced back to the year 1725. Knowledge and experience have been passed on from generation to generation and have been combined with innovation to produce wines with a special character. Innovations are always welcome and also necessary in the Domäne Baumgartner in order to survive in a constantly changing environment and market. The technology for grape processing and winemaking is state-of-the-art, but Katharina Baumgartner, the 12th generation winemaker, ensures innovation in the Domäne Baumgartner.
Equipped with a solid education, high ambitions and many innovative ideas, Katharina Baumgartner expanded “fruit in the bottle” to “music in the bottle” by allowing wine in some of the tanks to listen to music after fermentation – an idea which immediately found international acclaim. Through loudspeakers in the tanks, the yeast is kept in gentle motion after fermentation, thus creating a natural battonage. This makes the wines fuller, creamier and longer lasting.
Elevator pitch for retailers – why should they stock your wines in 100 words or less:
From the vineyard to the cellar, everything is done to preserve the clear fruit aroma of the grapes. Our wines are not just “fruit in the bottle”, they are also “music in the bottle”. Through a music sound system inside the wine tanks, they get their distinctive character. The wines are awarded for their special qualities at numerous international blind tastings and wine competitions from New York to Moscow. The special thing about this family winery is that the members manage to produce award-winning wines on a larger scale.