Discover Germany | Special Theme | Austrian Wine Special 2017
A glass of Austrian wine history Vineyard K+K Kirnbauer beguiles with rich, fruity premium wines featuring expressive characters, typical for their grape variety. The absolute highlight is their famous red wine ‘Das Phantom’. Produced in the lush homelands of the Blaufränkisch, located in the heart of the Burgenland, Kirnbauer wines truly live up to their excellent reputation. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE I PHOTOS: K+K KIRNBAUER
Vineyard K+K Kirnbauer is a family business where the passion for wine has been passed on from generation to generation. Overlooking the beautiful landscape of the Burgenland on the eastern border of Austria, it feels like the love for winemaking even lingers in the crisp air. The unique microclimate, the heavy soils and 300 days of sunshine every year, create the perfect environment for viticulture. For centuries, this fertile land has brought prosperity to its people and to ensure that it stays that way, the Kirnbauer family works hand in hand with nature. “Our success is due to following a clear philosophy: We aim to handle the grape as little as possible during its journey from 34 | Issue 50 | May 2017
the vine into the bottle in order to really bring out the full potential of the terroir,” says vintner Markus Kirnbauer. “We use a processing system that operates on three levels. This enables the must to naturally flow into the fermentation tanks and later on for the new wine to get from there into the barrel cellar.” The process is temperature-controlled, which enables the vintner to produce dense yet elegant and delicate wines. But it is not just modern technology that helps produce these liquid treats.“We also believe in special vibrations,” Kirnbauer smiles. “That is why a few times a day we play some carefully selected relaxing music in the barrel cellar so the wine is ageing with a Pannonian soundscape.”
Merging state-of-the-art technology with traditional methods is a key factor at K+K Kirnbauer. Every grape is handpicked and more than 20 people work in the vineyard during harvest time. Additionally, Kirnbauer uses a visual grape-sorting system: “The machine takes a picture of every single grape and compares it with a setpoint fixed. If a grape does not fit the requirements it is discarded via air jet. That way we have more people to handpick the grapes in the vineyard.” Although the most commonly produced wine of the Burgenland region is the Blaufränkisch, also known as Lemberger, at vineyard Kirnbauer everything revolves around the cuvée wines. Above all stands their prestigious red wine Das Phantom, which has become one of the most famous red wines of Austria. Its success story started in 1987 and marked the beginning of the Austrian cuvée wine culture. Over the past years, it gained a real cult following and today it is safe to say that Das Phantom has written wine history.
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