Ingrid and Christopher West reminisce about a day in the wine growing area of the Wagram.
With the cold weather at the end of January, it seems that winter is finally upon us. I am reminded of a fabulous hot summer day, at the beginning of September, when we visited Mehoferâ€™s Winery in Neudegg. This is a small village about 38 miles north of Vienna, situated in the Wagram, which is one of the major wine growing regions in Austria.
The Mehofer family have been growing wine since 1709, and Stephan Mehofer is the 10th. Generation. The experience they have gathered in over 300 years of viniculture, defines not only the unique taste of their wines but also their thoughts and actions.
The family are pioneers of Organic Wine, and production started in 1992.
When we arrived we were provided with a map so we could walk through the Vineyards, which had all been marked with a description of the different grape varieties. The grapes were full ripe bunches with a glorious bloom on them, almost ready for picking. In an attempt to increase the biodiversity, a great variety of herbs such as lavender, thyme and lemon balm have been planted among the vines. Stephan is organic by conviction, and produces wines of the highest quality, working meticulously with nature, both in the vineyards and in the cellar.
There was a rally of Vintage tractors passing through the Village, and one of these gave us a welcome lift back to the Winery. In a large cool barn at the rear of the courtyard, all his different wines were available for tasting. These included Zweigelt Klassik, Merlot Blauburgunder, and Riesling Klassik. Although on such a hot day most guests preferred the cool Riesling, rather than the Reds. Laid out on long tables was a fabulous cold buffet. Food was taken to the shaded Courtyard. During the course of the Buffet, a local band came along to play.
Apart from his wines, Mehofer also produces 100% pure organic grape seed oil, cold pressed and unfiltered. The oil is great for salads, dips and to sear meat, fish and vegetable dishes.
After such an enjoyable day we returned early evening to the heat of Vienna.