2017 'Christina' St. Laurent
Region: Edles Tal < Carnuntum < Austria
Grapes: Saint Laurent
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming (in process of certification); whole bunches are sorted gently in open boxes and ferment carbonically, in a very slow and cold fermentation in the old cellar. After 3 weeks the whole bunches are pressed into old oak vats, finishing fermentation as juice. Elevage takes place in 500 liter vats for 18 months; bottled unfined/unfiltered with minimal So2; 12.5%.
Winemaker: Christina Netzl
Christina began her path towards natural winemaking as a young girl of 5 years old, working on her family’s farm and vineyard in the Carnuntum winemaking region, just east of Vienna. She studied oenology in London, drinking her way through wines of the world before returning home in 2007 to work with her parents, who weren’t farming organically at the time. But after having two kids she became passionate about organic viticulture and began the process of converting everything to organics in 2013, starting with soil treatments and elimination of herbicides, followed by eliminating pesticides and 100% organic vineyard management and then finally organic production in the winery. Last year they began the official process of certifying organically. Through the course of this conversion process, Christina fell in love with ancient winemaking practices, leading her to launch a line of natty wines that we’re loving, in no small part because of the adorable label art representing the beneficial insects that live in the vineyard, helping to protect the vines naturally.
St. Laurent is a native Austrian grape similar similar to Pinot Noir, but here the loamy soils here lend a distinct forest berry character. Carbonic maceration lifts the vibrant red berry fruit, and the slow, cold fermentation helps extract color without the harsh tannins. Juicy and velvety, with pretty alpine spice and crunchy fruit, this is the perfect mid-winter wine. And yes, even in February, we want it with a slight chill.