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Franz Strohmeier is a visionary natural winemaker, working in the Steiermark part of Styria, known as the “Green Heart” of Austria. Franz is a very philosophical winemaker, who is never content to make wine as the establishment does around him, always making the decisions he feels express his terroir in the most natural way. He is constantly tinkering with his 8 hectares of vines to find better and more natural methods. Most recently for example, he began using whey (the liquid part of milk produced in cheese production) to spray his grapes, instead of copper sulfate. He has some portion of his grapes growing wild, without pruning, that produce very small intensely flavored grapes.Franz does not subscribe to any certified biodynamic organization, although many of his methods sound like very byodynamic to us. If a malady strikes a vine, he often prefers to not treat it. Instead he prefers to forgoe those vines, saying the vineyard as a whole gains in health from a little bit of sickness. Biodiversity is a chief concern. He makes wines that are like nothing else we have ever tasted, a true display of the unique terroir of this region.Franz makes sparkling wines with great finesse and stability, perfect for every day drinking and pairing with a wide variety of foods. He also makes white wines with subtle amounts of skin contact, the TLZ line, of which we are very excited to feature two fine wines, the Weiss and Sonne, amazingly crafted zero sulfur wines for special occasions.
www.strohmeier.at

Schilcher Frizzante — Back to the top

Age of Vines: 35-40 years

Yields: 30hl/ha

Varietals: Blauer Wildbacher

Schilcher is a typical product of the Styrian region, known throughout Austria, and frequently paired with fried chicken, a speciality of the region. It is made from a high acid red grape known as blauer wildbacker, and is normally commercially available as a still rosé. Franz has 3.5 hectares of this grape, the local indigenous variety used to make Schilcher wine.

Vinification Method: Hand harvested, first fermentation in stainless steel tank, no filtration. Secondary fermentation is in bottle with an added Champagne yeast. 20 mg/liter of sulfur is added to the wine in tank, and no sulphur added when the wine is disgorged.


Weiss Sekt — Back to the top

Age of Vines: 12-15 years

Yields: 25 hl/ha

Varietals: 50% Sauvignon Blanc/ 50% Chardonnay

Vinification Method: Hand harvested, with a first fermentation  with natural yeast in 500 liter used oak barrels, with a short skin fermentation (12 hours).  The second fermentation takes place in bottle with an added champagne yeast, and it is lightly bubbly. Aged 3 months in bottle and not disgorged. Zero dosage. The wine receives 15 mg/liter of sulfur after the first racking. 


Pairing: Schilcher Rosé — Back to the top

Age of Vines: 35-40 years

Yields: 30hl/ha

Varietals: Blauer Wildbacher

Vinification Method: Hand harvested, 3 week fermentation with natural yeast, then the wine spends 5 months on the lees in stainless steel tanks. 30 mg/liter of sulfur is added at bottling.


TLZ Weiss — Back to the toppublicViewAttachment-4-300x298

Age of Vines: 12 years

Yields: 20 hl/ha

Varietals: Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay

The TLZ, Trauben, Leibe, und Zeit (Grapes, Love and Time) line are Franz’s zero sulfur added wines.

The Weiss wine is just slightly cloudy, and has the subtlest touch of skin contact on the nose and palate. This brief period in contact with the skins help the wine stay fresh with zero sulfur added.

Vinification Method: Hand harvested and fermented in 500 liter used wooden barrels, this wine spends just 2 hours in contact withe the skins. It is unfiltered, unfined and has zero sulfur added.

 


TLZ Sonne — Back to the top

Age of Vines: 12 years

Yields: 16 hl/ha

Varietals: Sauvignon Blanc

You’d be hard pressed to recognize this as Sauvignon Blanc, with super mature fruit displaying none of the grassy characteristics typical of commercial examples of this grape variety. The skin contact on this wine is more prevalent than in the TLZ Weiss, but this is still a wine of subtly and finesse, very in balance and faintly amber in color.

Vinification Method: Hand harvested and fermented in 500 liter used wooden barrels, this wine spends just 15 days in contact with the skins. It is unfiltered, unfined and has zero sulfur added.

 


TLZ Orange — Back to the top

Age of Vines: 12 years

Yields: 15 hl/ha

Varietals: Sauvignon Blanc and Weissburgunder

Vinification Method: Hand harvested and fermented in 500 liter used wooden barrels, on the skins for 9 months with no temperature control. This wine is bottled without fining or filtration and no sulfur is added

 


TLZ Rot — Back to the top

Age of Vines: 20 years

Yields: 22 hl/ha

Varietals: Zweigelt 50%, Blauer Wildbacher 50%

Vinification Method: Hand harvested and fermented in stainless steel tanks with no temperature control. The wine sits on the skins for 4 weeks and is bottled without fining or filtration and zero sulfur is added.

 


Rosé Sekt — Back to the top

Age of Vines: 35-39 years

Yields: 25 hl/ha

Varietals: Blauer Wildbacher

Vinification Method: Hand harvested and primarily fermented in 80% stainless steel tanks and 20% in old large barrels with no temperature control and indigenous yeasts. The wine is aged 8 months in stainless steel tanks, then 1 year in bottle. The second fermentation takes place in the bottle with added champagne yeast.  Zero sulfur is added to the wine and there is no dosage. This wine has a more intense bubble than the schilcher frizzante and is made from older vines, and is therefore more age-worthy.

 


TLZ Karmin (rosé) — Back to the topkarmin

Age of Vines: 35-39 years

Soil: residual soil Gneiss (big iron- and silicum content) green natural grass and herbs, no manure used.

Yields: 22 hl/ha

Varietals: Blauer Wildbacher

Vinification Method: Grapes are carefully hand selected in the vineyard searching for the most ripe grapes, which are destemmed and fermented with native yeasts.  The wine sits on the skins for 3-4 hours after which the grapes are pressed very softly.  The wine then stays in barrel for 1 year in used 500 liter wooden barrels (mostly oak with a very small percentage of acacia). There is zero sulfur added, the wine is not filtered or fined, and nothing is added at all.