When Michael Gindl, born 1983, finished agricultural school in 2002, it was already clear to him that he wanted to run the farm that his family has owned since 1807. This farm has always practiced mixed agriculture with crops, livestock, forestry, and wine. After the early death of his grandfather, Michael’s mother managed the farm because his father worked as a food inspector. Michael at that time (during his school years) took over the responsibility for vinification.
Michael simultaneously began his orientation towards biodynamic methods; today the farm is certified biodyamic. Highland cattle have been bred since 2012. Horses work the vineyards and the wheat fields. Breton Dwarf sheep graze the vineyards. There are also chickens, goats, pigs and a few dogs.
To preserve the individuality and genuineness obtained in the vineyards, the grapes are pressed very gently, rarely racked, and fermented spontaneously without any use of selected yeast or temperature control. Michael Gindl expounds, “I really try to do as little as possible – in fact nothing! The wines remain on the lees for a very long time and get a small dose of sulphur only shortly before bottling. My aim is to use more wooden barrels and less steel tanks in the future.” It is interesting to know that the barrels in his cellar are made from acacia and oak from his own forests.
About the Labels: If you were the type that read a wine by its label, you might think that Michael Gindl worked in PR and was trying to update the “critter label.” But you’d be wrong! Michael Gindl loves his farm animals. A lot! He has named several cuvées after them. He’s actually more animals than cuvées, which is a relief, because he has quite a few animals. Of course, all the wines are fantastic.
Anders Husa & Kaitlin Orr Blog: Visiting our Favorite Austrian Natural Winemakers