Winemaker Born and Bred
Quick facts: J&F collab
Owner & winemaker: Christina Netzl and her family
Vineyard management: certified organic (Lacon Institute)
Soils: loess, gravel
Main varieties: Gruner Veltliner, Zweigelt, St. Laurent, Chardonnay
Winemaking: hand harvest, spontaneous fermentation, stainless steel & neutral oak, unfined and unfiltered
- The Netzl family has lived and farmed in the very same village since 1650
- Having helped her family with running the mixed farm and vineyards since an early age, Christina knew she wanted to be a winemaker already at the tender age of five
- Inspired by the quality of the natural wines she discovered while living in London and the birth of her two daughters, Christina decided to turn the whole property organic in 2013 and started her own range of natural wines two years later
- The labels of the wines are a tribute to the beneficiary insects that inhabit the vineyards where they help manage pests and build soil health and biodiversity
- The whole family lives and makes wine in the same charming house – a veeery long building running from the street straight up to the cellar and one of their vineyards!
- Watch Christina taste her range of wines and chat with us about her journey and organic farming in our IGTV chat
Christina Netzl, the congenial winemaker behind our Christina wines, speaks about her personal journey in such a compelling, passionate and sweet way that we’ll just let her do the talking here: “I grew up with my sister on the mixed family-run farm owned by my parents and grandparents, cultivating different grains, corn, sugar beets, breeding pigs and growing some vines. Lending a hand almost everywhere on the farm, I fell in love with wine production (and snacking on food from our gardens and the neighborhood) at a very early age. I loved being in the vineyards, helping in the cellar, and telling our customers the stories behind the wines. My future occupation was crystal clear to me: I am becoming a vintner!”
“My parents later focused fully on wine-growing and gradually built up the winery to the 28 hectares we have now. I learned everything about “classical” wine production from my father while working alongside him in the vineyards and the cellar. But, fascinated by all the microbiological processes behind the scenes, I decided to gain more knowledge by studying enology and wine management. An internship for a London wine importer was such an eye-opening moment: it is where I got to know sooo many different wines and styles from all over the world, unbeknown to me before.”
“Fascinated by this diversity and impressed by organically produced wines from small producers all over the world, I decided to focus on finding the typical style of our wine-growing region Carnuntum when I joined my parents back home at the winery in 2007. Increasingly concerned about soil conditions, micro-climates, and nature in the vineyards, my husband and I decided to gradually turn our vineyards organic in 2013. (The fact of raising our two little daughters had a strong influence as well, as you can imagine.) In 2018, we asked for official organic certification, and the 2021 vintage was our first officially certified one.”
“Over the years, I’ve also been experimenting with different low-intervention methods in the cellar. I fell in love with them and the living wines they yield, and I ended up adding my own range of natural wines to the more classical ones ‘inherited’ from my father.”
And that’s how our paths crossed: Jenny was looking for a tasty and lively natural wine from typical Austrian varieties and Christina and her Carnuntum soils offer exactly that! We said yes and never looked back, as Christina wines quickly became one of the most popular bottles in our book thanks to their indisputable drinkability and eye-catching labels, which joyfully celebrate the beneficial critters living in the vineyards. As Jenny puts it herself: “The labels of Christina wines, art-directed by my husband, are a tribute to the beneficiary insects that inhabit the vineyards. Not all bugs are bad – these useful little critters help manage pests and build soil health and biodiversity, which is so important in natural winemaking!”
St. Laurent — Back to the top
Winemaker’s note: “The St. Laurent grapes love warm days, as they do cooler nights, and most importantly windy places – like the Edles Tal. Our warm Pannonian climate in combination with the cool winds from the River Danube, therefore, brings ideal conditions for this elegant variety. The grapes are able to ripen, while also keeping their typical fresh acidity, which makes the St. Laurent wines very interesting and charismatic.”
Varieties: St Laurent. Estate-owned and farmed by Christina’s family, certified organic.
Cellar: The hand-picked whole bunches are sorted gently and carbonically macerated in closed fermenters, in a very slow and cold fermentation in the old cellar. After 10-20 days of maceration, the whole bunches are pressed into old oak vats, finishing the native fermentation as juice. Aging and malolactic fermentation takes place in big old oak vats for 6 months. Unfined, unfiltered, lightly sulfured at bottling.
Personality: juicy sour cherry & cranberry aromas, spicy and earthy on the palate. Carb-mac red at its best!
Orange — Back to the top
Winemaker’s note: “The white grapes love the perfect conditions of our “Pannonian” climate with the deep and nutritious soils in combination with gravel on the top. As a result, they develop their very intensive and exotic aromatic with some nice acidity on the palate, due to the cooler influences of the River Danube during the nights.”
Soil: Gravel and loess. Estate-owned and farmed by Christina’s family, certified organic.
Varieties: Chardonnay, Welschriesling, Sauvignon blanc (2022 blend)
Vinification Method: The grapes are hand-harvested, destemmed, and fermented spontaneously in contact with the skins for 18–21 days, in stainless steel fermenters. Once pressed, the wine spends 4 months in old vats, amphoras and stainless steel on full lees. The wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered, the 2021 and 2022 vintages didn’t receive any sulfur addition.
Personality: big in the best of senses! There are herbs and heaps of exotic fruit, juicy citrus flavors and exciting tannic structure. Super cool on its own or even more enjoyable next to some aromatic cuisine like Thai curries, grilled fish, lemon roasted chicken, oh my…
Gruner Veltliner — Back to the top
Winemaker’s note: “This vineyard is one of the cooler places in our region, which benefit from the chilled winds of the nearby River Danube, especially during hot summers. This factor allows for the intensive aromatic and fizzy acidity in the grapes to be preserved. Specifically, the red gravel (iron) brings minerality and the typical “pepper” to our Grüner Veltliner.”
Soil: red gravel and loess. Estate-owned and farmed by Christina’s family, certified organic.
Varieties: Gruner Veltliner
Vinification Method: Grapes are hand-harvested and pressed as whole bunches. The juice is fermented spontaneously in stainless steel in a long, slow ferment thanks to the cold cellar temperatures. Bottled unfined and unfiltered, with a small addition of sulfur.
Personality: a beautiful image of its variety, this GruVe mingles apple, bright acidity and peppery undertones in just the right proportions. Pairs well with fried chicken and light fish and seafood, or go for Wiener Schnitzel or pork knuckle if a full-on Austrian experience is required. The winemaker recommends to shake the bottle a bit before serving.
Rosé — Back to the top
Winemaker’s note: “The Pannonian climate with the cool winds of the River Danube brings a very ripe, but also fresh cherry-fruit to the Zweigelt grapes resulting in wines with aromatic fruit, smooth tannins, and no shortage of elegance.”
Soil: red gravel & loess (Holzweg vineyard). Estate-owned and farmed by Christina’s family, certified organic.
Cellar Method: Grapes are hand-harvested and direct pressed to stainless steel tanks, with just a few hours of contact with the skins to provide color. Fermentation takes place under temperature control and lasts about two weeks. The wine rests for another 4 weeks and then is racked once, then rests on the lees for another 8 weeks. The wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered, with a small addition of sulfur.
Personality: lip-smackingly tasty! Every berry is present in this light, succulent rosé that you’ll want to drink the whole spring and summer (and fall and winter too). When you’re done drinking it on your own, you’ll discover it’s also a versatile food companion – the best thing to serve with it is Christina Netzl’s home-made smoked trout but if you for some reason can’t get that, cold cuts, gravlax, watermelon salad or light veggie dishes work great too.
Zweigelt — Back to the top
Christina Netzl on this wine: “The Zweigelt grapes love warm days and cooler nights, and most importantly windy places. Our warm Pannonian climate combined with cool winds from the Danube River, therefore, represent the ideal conditions for our most important grape variety. The grapes are able to ripen all while keeping their fresh cherry aromas and juicy palate!”
Grape: 100% Zweigelt
Vineyard: loess. Estate-owned and farmed by Christina’s family, certified organic.
Cellar: Grapes are hand-harvested and destemmed to stainless steel tanks. The spontaneous fermentation is slow due to the cool temperatures in the old cellar. Malolactic fermentation takes place in old big oak vats, where the wine rests for another 4 months. The wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered with a small addition of sulfur.
Personality: As Christina herself exclaims: „We love the Zweigelt-grape!” Light red with purple glints, juice cherry aromas in the nose, red berries, soft and silky tannins, and fresh finish, this is one tasty addition. Serve lightly chilled.