One reason that Weingut Hirsch's wines are so good is that Johannes Hirsch did a lot of things first. He was one of the first in Austria to dump Chardonnay and really focus on Kamptal's great varieties of Riesling and Grüner Veltliner. He was one of the first to farm biodynamically. He was first to switch all closures to stelvin. So he's had a longer time to perfect this style of hyper-artisanal winemaking than virtually anyone else in Austria.There were hiccups along the way. Not everyone loved the Rieslings from the late aughts that ended up with some residual sugar. But it turns out that this was just what nature wanted to do in those vintages. And since then, Hirsch (and nature) have made nothing but classical, dry Grüners and Rieslings. He has avoided the trend towards higher octane Austrian wines that we have seen elsewhere. With lower alcohol levels, Hirsch shows the pure, crystalline essence of Austrian Grüners and Rieslings.
Heiligenstein is a terraced south and southwest facing slope with a unique geological history that has been preserved in this particular area. The outcropping bedrock consists of a reddish-brown sandstone with a high feldspar content, coarse conglomerates, and minor siltstone. These sediments formed approximately 250–280 million years ago under arid conditions, in lakes, ponds, and ephemeral rivers. The rocks contain fossilized plants and gravels with clasts of volcanic rhyolites. Loess is only preserved in a few locations, within shallow depressions.Region: KamptalGrape: RieslingVineyard HeiligensteinSoil: Urgestein bedrock, Sandstone, Conglomerates, and SiltstoneFermentation & Elevage: Harvest in end of October. Careful whole bunch pressing, fermentation without temperature control and using only natural yeasts with maturation occurring in both stainless steel tanks and large oak barrels. The wine rested on the lees until the end of April prior to bottling at the beginning of July and release in September 2017.Farming: Certified Respekt Biodynamic