THE WINE ESTATE.
SCHLOSS HALBTURN, for several centuries a favourite estate of the Emperor’s family, is one of the oldest centres of wine-making in Austria. Now, under its present owner, new and exciting developments have been put in hand to bring the vineyards and wine-making up to the highest international standards. Thanks to the initiative of Baroness Marietheres Waldbott-Bassenheim and under the leadership of Markus Graf zu Königsegg a major and ambitions programme of reconstruction and modernisation has taken place.
“Quality does not allow for any compromise”
Markus Graf zu Koenigsegg
An international team of oenologists is the backbone of the wine production. The team is headed by oenologist Markus Sieben and senior winemaker Francois-Xavier Gaboriaud from Chateau l´Hermitage, Bordeaux.
The historic terraces at Jungenberg (Jois), one of the finest wine areas in Austria, have been completely reconstructed and replanted.
At Wittmannshof, the second vineyard, which is close to Schloss Halbturn itself, two-thirds of the vineyards have been replanted with mainly red wine varieties from Austria and France.
In the former Imperial stables, new and completely up-to-date equipment has been installed to create impressive wine cellars that combine modern technology with this unique historic location and setting.
BURGENLAND - A BARREL FULL OF SUN.
The Northern part of the Burgenland (Austria) enjoys a continental climate characterised by Pannonian influences. Mild and sunny autumn weather allows for the full ripening of late varieties, and the resulting wines have the distinctive characteristics of this area.
Jungenberg (Jois), on the lower slopes of the Leitha Hills by the Lake of Neusiedl, is well known as one of Austria’s leading wine-growing districts, renowned for its slate “terroir” with a shell-limestone soil and high clay content. As in the wine-growing areas of Bordeaux and Burgundy, the high-density planting employed at Jungenberg, together with the terroir and south-facing position, results in the production of its outstanding wines.
Wittmannshof (Halbturn), on the other hand, is mainly gravel, rich in sandy soil, which is ideal for robust, rich red wines. In addition to the Austrian varieties of Blaufränkisch, Zweigelt and St. Laurent, the planting has been focussed on the traditional variety of Pinot Noir.
With the increasing worldwide demand for high quality wines, sorting the grapes starts in the vineyards, and all 65ha of vines are meticulously picked by hand. The grapes are then cooled, packed into 15 kilogram boxes and submitted to a further rigorous selection process at two sorting tables. The fermentation process in designed for each specific variety, and uses the most up-to-date techniques to produce the finest quality results. Depending on the desired result, the wines are left to mature in French barriques or stainless steel tanks – carefully supervised by the oenologists. Whenever vintage and weather conditions permit, sweet fine wines are also pressed, which have been highly regarded both in the home and international markets.