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Weingut Künstler

The Künstler estate winery has been a family-owned business since 1648. Until the end of World War II, the Künstler family ran its winery in Untertannowitz, a village 80km north of the Austrian capital of Vienna in South Moravia, but which is now part of the Czech Republic. After expropriation and expulsion from his homeland, Franz Künstler re-established his winery in Hochheim, Germany, in 1965. The microclimate and topography here are perfectly suited to the Riesling grape thanks to the south facing slopes and the shelter provided by the Taunus mountains. There is even a Mediterranean aspect to the climate which gently brings Riesling to full ripeness, even lemons, figs and almonds can thrive here.

Due to his philosophy of uncompromising quality, it was not long before he became successful: his wines immediately started to receive praise at numerous wine tastings and were awarded a number of prizes. In 1992, the estate winery was passed on to his son Gunter.

Originally, the winery was established in the family home but due to hard work and healthy growth it expanded steadily. It wasn’t long before the business outgrew these premises and, in 2006, Künstler moved into the Art Nouveau villa that used to house Burgeff, one of the most pre-eminent German sparkling wine producers of previous times.

Aiming to provide ideal conditions for producing top-quality wines and to look after his customers in the best way possible, Gunter Künstler put a great deal of time and effort into improving the wine cellars, the vineyard operations, the wine shop and the function rooms. The current premises not only offers a unique, authentic ambience but also sufficient space for the wine-making facilities and for customers who are always welcome to visit.

In order to make their wines, the Künstlers use the latest equipment but they are not solely reliant upon technology: above all, winemaking requires great sensitivity and the accumulated knowledge that is passed from one generation to the next. It is not analytical values that determine the quality but the taste of the grapes, the aroma of the musts and, above all, the harmony of the wines. There needs to be a perfect balance between residual sugar, alcohol and acidity to create wines with great ageing potential as they do at Künstler. Ultimately, the fruitiness of the grapes and the character of each vineyard must shine through in the glass.

Künstler’s Riesling grapes are destalked, cooled and put directly into the press where they are gently crushed and cooled so as to develop its characteristic aromas. Then, depending on its origin and quality level, the juice is transferred into stainless steel vats or into traditional large wooden barrels where it ferments slowly, in a controlled fashion and at low temperatures. Depending on the nature of the vintage and the quality of the grapes, both cultured and wild yeasts can be used for fermentation. After fermentation, which takes between six and eight weeks, the wines are removed from their gross lees and are stored on their fine lees until bottling. This way they create powerful, harmonious, extract-rich, terroir-driven and lively wines with plenty of potential.
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