Schrammel 2.0

A Start-up with a Family Tradition

Quick facts:

Location: the village of Wolkersdorf im Weinviertel, Austria

Owner & winemaker: Nicole & Daniel Schrammel

Vineyard area: 0.95 ha (4.3 acres) estate-owned + 0.7ha in long-term rental

Vineyard management: practicing organics

Soils: loess, fertile humus-rich soil (“chernozem”)

Main varieties: Gruner Veltliner, Zweigeltrebe

Annual production (approx.): 5,000 bottles

Winemaking: sparkling wines made as pet-nats, skin-contact whites and free-run reds aged in glass and tanks with significant lees contact. No fining, no filtration, no sulfur additions.

 

Fun facts:

  • The winery started in 2015, with a tiny Gruner Veltliner plot taken care of by Daniel and bottled for the local market
  • With a new vineyard addition in 2018, the couple plunged into full-on natural mode, and the Schrammel 2.0 label was born
  • The project is a true micro-winery focused on old vines (their own plantations come from 1962 and 1979, planted by Nicole’s grandfather)
  • The couple isn’t classically trained – Daniel works in sales and marketing in nearby Vienna and Nicole, whose family traditionally owned vineyards, is a special-needs teacher currently taking care of their three kids
  • The vines are cultivated with a lot of biodiversity, including the family’s own vegetable garden.

 

Jump to wines | Schrammel 2.0 website

 

“We saw a diamond in the rough and felt the need to bring it back to our responsibility,” says Daniel Schrammel about the tipping point of their wife&husband micro-winery project, based just outside Vienna, Austria. The hidden gem he’s talking about is a tiny plot of old vines that was nearly uprooted if it hadn’t been for their intervention. “The vines were planted by my grandfather in 1979, but over the years the family abandoned viticulture and leased the plot. In 2018, the tenant farmer came to the family with his plan to clear and replace the old vines, and we felt we should take action to avoid such a loss,” Nicole Schrammel, fellow winemaker and a busy mother of three, explains what made them plunge even deeper into natural wine.

The couple was already making a bit of wine at that pointit all began in 2015 with the Kellerwein label, a tiny production of Gruner Veltliner grown by Daniel himself and bottled for the regional market. “From the very first moment, we worked with the deepest conviction for organic viticulture and a minimal approach. Today I know that this is called low intervention,” Daniel smiles. The Kellerwein wines are spontaneously fermented, yet still more on the classical “elegant, suitable for beginners” side of the natural wine spectrum, as the creator calls it himself. 

With that old-vineyard addition in 2018, the Schrammels had a whole different challenge to face: “All of a sudden, we had four times the amount of grapes than before, which was a bit too much for the super-regional approach. And since we had fallen in love with natural wine in the meantime, we founded Schrammel 2.0 / Alternativ Wein as a dedicated label to focus on wine made with grapes and nothing else. 2.0 by name, but number one for our hearts,” Daniel describes fondly. 

This shift has also allowed him to work with varieties other than Grüner Veltliner, which the Kellerwein wines are exclusively made of; under the 2.0 label, you’ll also find fruity rosé pet-nats and still reds made from the red Zweigelt grape. And, with the brand new addition of a 0.7ha vineyard of St. Laurent, Merlot and Rösler that Daniel just leased from a local winemaker, there are surely more succulent reds on the horizon. “The great thing is that the vineyard has been cultivated organically for decades and has never seen bad times. And it’s in a top location. The condition of the lease was that I had to start the certification processthe organic community is a skillful gang,” Daniel laughs.

Not that it bothers him in the leastalthough currently uncertified, their own vineyards are a testimony to their belief in biodiversity and respect for the natural flow of things. In order to avoid soil compression, the couple does as much as possible manually; different trees, bushes, and plants keep the vines company to increase the soil’s water-retaining capacity and attract insects, and the couple grows their own vegetables among the vines. 

 “I resonate a lot with a statement in Isabelle Legeron’s Natural Wine book: ‘It’s like when you let a high jumper who usually trains with the bar at 2 meters jump over an 80-centimeter hurdle and then give him a medal for it.’ We’ve been doing all these things and more already. But I understand the upsides of the certification.” Just like in the vineyard, there’s nothing to hide in the cellar eithertheir wines are made in a very old local Keller, located in a “cellar lane” typical for the region, using zero-additives, glass demijohns, and stainless steel tanks. “The old cellar’s set up means a lot of handwork for us, but also ideal aging conditions for the wine. And, above all, it resonates with our philosophy of sustainability and conservation of traditional resources in the production of something valuable,” the couple asserts. A true “start-up with a family tradition”, as they playfully call it themselves.

alternativ weiss Alternativ Weiss — Back to the top

Grape: Gruner Veltliner

Vineyard: loess, planted in 1962 and 1979

Cellar: The grapes are harvested manually in multiple picks (to gain acidity in the early harvests and structure in the later ones), each of them gently pressed and fermented for 3 months in individual glass balloons (demijohns). The wines are then blended and aged with the lees in steel tanks for 6 months.  Bottled with zero addition of sulfur, unfined and unfiltered into clay bottles.

Personality: the significant presence of lees gives the wine a distinct creamy style, balanced by pleasant acidity and stony mineral finish.


alternativ orangeAlternativ Orange — Back to the top

Vineyard: loess, planted in 1962 and 1979

Grape: Gruner Veltliner

Cellar: The hand-harvested grapes are destemmed, gently stomped, and fermented spontaneously on skins for 4 weeks. The free-run juice is then aged in a steel tank for about a year. The wine is deliberately bottled with a significant proportion of the lees to keep its original character. Unfined and unfiltered, with zero addition of sulfur. 

Personality: structure and tannins that you would expect in reds, but with the freshness and fruitiness of white grapes! Fresh aromas of green tea, citrus fruit, and herbs dance on fine tannins and lingering bright finish.


alternativ rotAlternativ Rot — Back to the top

Grape: Zweigeltrebe

Vineyard: loess, planted in 1962 and 1979

Cellar: The hand-harvested grapes are destemmed, gently stomped, and fermented spontaneously on skins for 4 weeks. The free-run juice is then aged in a steel tank for about a year. The wine is deliberately bottled into white clay bottles with a significant proportion of the lees to keep its original character. Unfined and unfiltered, with zero addition of sulfur. 

Personality: very cherry and pleasantly light-bodied.


Color Weiss alternativ color weissPet-Nat – Back to the top

Grape: Gruner Veltliner

Vineyard: loess, planted in 1962 and 1979

Cellar: The hand-harvested grapes are destemmed, gently pressed, and fermented spontaneously in stainless steel tanks. Bottled according to the Méthode Ancestrale while the fermentation is still going, unfined and unfiltered, with zero addition of sulfur. Disgorged `dirty` to preserve its slight haze, in the following spring.

Personality: Pure & fruity, slightly sour; the perfect adult lemonade.


alternativ color rotColor Rot Pet-Nat — Back to the top

Grape: Gruner Veltliner and Zweigeltrebe

Vineyard: loess, planted in 1962 and 1979

Cellar: The Gruner grapes are destemmed, gently pressed, and fermented spontaneously in stainless steel tanks. Bottled according to the Méthode Ancestrale while the fermentation is still going, unfined and unfiltered, with zero addition of sulfur. Disgorged `dirty` to preserve its slight haze, in the following spring. The Zweigelt grapes get a few hours of maceration on skins and the free-run juice is then fermented into still red, which is added to the bottle after its disgorgement.

Personality: Raspberry & sour cherry lightness.


naturwerkNaturwerk Pet-Nat — Back to the top

Grape: Gruner Veltliner

Vineyard: loess, planted in 1962

Cellar: The hand-harvested grapes are destemmed, gently pressed after 6 hours of skin maceration, and then fermented spontaneously in stainless steel tanks. Bottled according to the Méthode Ancestrale while the fermentation is still going, unfined and unfiltered, with zero addition of sulfur. Disgorged in the following spring.

Personality: Acid-driven! Pleasant aromas of green apples, fine bubbles, low alcohol (10.6% ABV only) make this natural sparkler really easy to enjoy.