Franz Strohmeier

'I have such high respect for developments happening unseen - both in the vineyard and later in the wine itself - that I ́m afraid of disturbing and defacing the natural process through interference.'

Styria, Austria

Region

Organic (Certified) working biodynamically

Farming

8 hectares

Size

It was 35°C and about 120% humidity on the day we visited Christine and Franz Strohmeier last year in August. Walking in the lush vineyards on steep hills felt like hiking a subtropical rainforest in Thailand, but it was actually just another summer day in this part of West Styria. They say it takes a special place to make a special wine – for Strohmeier's ethereal wines, the secret ingredients must include an abundance of sun and about 1,000mm of annual rainfall – where the South-Eastern foothills of the Alps meet the base of the Koralpe, the Adriatic influence also meets the cold mountain air.

In a craft where precision and technical know-how tend to become bragging rights, Franz is not afraid of the unknown. If disease strikes a vine, he will often forgo treatment, opting to remove the vine and planting a tree in its place. What exactly the tree does to the wine is anybody's guess, but Franz believes that the vineyard as a whole is one living organism, and the thriving biodiversity in his vineyards is the best health approval from Mother Nature.

Like a few seconds of silence in a piece of music or a large shadow in a photograph, it often takes a tremendous amount of knowledge and courage for a maker to completely let go and do nothing. “I have such high respect for developments happening unseen – both in the vineyard and later in the wine itself, that I'm afraid of disturbing and defacing the natural process through interference.” The lack of actions is not due to Franz’s indolence, but rather a reflection of his confidence and trust in nature. Franz's mastery is in his utter contentment, not only in his land and grapes, but also in the love and time that he puts into the bottles.

Lestoa 2007
Strohmeier
Lestoa 2007
£40.00