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'Winemakers are always touching or doing something. I’m not sure where they have learned this — from their fathers or grandfathers maybe — but they are so afraid of not doing anything that they always end up doing too much.'
The history of the Neumeister estate starts with Christoph's father, Albert, who back in the late 1990s paved the way for a young, dynamic generation that has put organic farming and high- quality winemaking at the forefront of their work. Despite having been established as one of the region's prime estates, it is thanks to Christoph that the winery continues to evolve and develop a modern yet traditional approach when it comes to the style and character of the wines.
Christoph organically cultivates 24 hectares of vines scattered around the steep hillsides of Straden in south-eastern Styria. The vineyards surrounding the town are rich in chalky limestone and sandy loam with volcanic rock and sandstone top soils. Christoph and his family go to great lengths to ensure that the fruit they bring in is of the best quality. The grapes are hand harvested and transported in small crates to minimise damage to the berries. The fruit then undergoes a meticulous selection process before fermentation begins. The wines are fermented with native yeasts and kept on the fine lees for long periods to promote stability and complexity.
The Neumeister family have parcels growing in some of the top vineyards in the area, including the Saziani, Klausen, Moarfeitl, Steintal and Buchberg - Styria’s oldest Sauvignon Blanc vineyard. Most of the vines are planted to local (planted for more than 200 years) white varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Morillon (Chardonnay), Welschriesling, Weissburgunder, Gelber Muskateller, Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris) and Traminer.
We would like to think of Christoph as a future classic in the making - mindful of his soils and vineyards but with a great deal of consistency and desire to create long-lasting wines with length and freshness.