Weisze Freyheit, Heinrich

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Weisze Freyheit, 2017, Heinrich

A creamy and mineral white that is a true expression of Freyheit (freedom)

Region: Burgenland, Austria
Grape(s): Weissburgunder & Muskat Ottonel
Genre: Biodynamic
Low Sulphur: Yes
Tasting Notes: White fruits, creamy structure, minerality, spice, floral

Gernot and Heike Heinrich took over from his parents in 1985. Heinrichs have been making wine in Burgenland going back almost three centuries, but Gernot caused some disruption when he went from producing simple whites to premium reds. That was not where his disruption ended, however. Always passionate about biodynamics, both from a winemaking and an environmental perspective, they fully converted in 2006 and were amongst the founders of Respekt (the certifying body for biodynamic viticulture in Austria). They are making terroir driven wine that can only be made, in Gernot’s eyes, if the terroir has a rich biodiversity and the vines are only a piece within a healthy ecosystem. Low intervention through and through, the wines often undergo slow cellar work and low sulphur to allow them to fully develop and express their identity.

Freyheit (‘freedom’) denotes this wine’s freedom from additives and is 97% Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc) with 3% Muskat Ottonel, which gives a slightly more prominent fruit characteristic. The grapes are from 30 year old vines planted on lime, sandstone and schist on the eastern slopes of the Leithaberg mountains. Hand harvesting is followed by, of course, spontaneous fermentation. A quarter of the wine has a short skin maceration, but only enough to give a little more texture and complexity to this white wine. Malolactic fermentation is followed by 21 months aging in large old oak barrels with the lees to give a creamy structure to harmonise with the intense minerality and floral notes from the Muskat.