The Altenburger family has farmed land in and around Jois since the 16th century. Their vineyards are only half an hour from Vienna, but seemingly in another cosmos altogether.
Markus is fascinated by Blaufränkisch – the red grape of Burgenland. He works with massal selections from his Gritschenberg vineyard's old vines. There, loose clusters and small berries are well adapted to the dry Pannonian summers. The grapes express the schist for fruiter wines charming in their youth, as well as the limestone, for length and structure. The wines express this tension, the influences of limestone and schist soils, and something of the wild abundance of nature, as well.
Since Markus took over his family’s estate more than a decade ago, he’s moved from what he calls “well-behaved wines” to those that are much closer to nature and bear a far more personal stamp. In the cellar, he favours native yeasts, minimal added sulphur, long, protective lees contact, and concrete and neutral wood for ageing.