Johannes Zillinger

Weinviertel, Niederösterreich, Austria

Johannes Zillinger learned early on from his father about the craft of organic winemaking, about viewing the vineyard as a habitat and protecting the environment instead of poisoning it. His father Hans turned to organic viticulture in 1983, two years before the Anti-freeze Scandal, and was one of its pioneers in Austria. When Johannes took over the winery and made it his own in 2013, he took it ever further and became biodynamic, starting a new chapter for the 350 year old winery. His wines are certified Demeter biodynamic. Here is how to sum up bio-dynamic farming: 1. Biodynamic farming is an older and much stricter way of farming than organic farming. 2. Beyond being organic, biodynamic farming practices are guided by a special calendar and many special rules. They do not allow additions like yeast to help or control the fermentation. 3. Often biodynamic farmers are fairly eccentric, but as a rule they are always committed to the most natural winemaking practices. 4. Just because a wine is biodynamic does not mean it will taste good, but many biodynamic wines are extraordinary.

Philosophy: Johannes is all about the philosophy of biodynamic farming. He even grows his own herbs for tea tinctures to use as treatments in his vineyards. The wines are all spontaneously fermented, lightly filtered, and minimally sulfured only at bottling keeping with the purity desired by the natural wine crowd. The difference with these wines are their approachability to the entire consumer base. Everyone can appreciate the cleanliness, flavor, and precision of this juice regardless of their interest in natural wines.


Our Selections

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Zillinger Riesling Velue 2016

"Velue" is the old name for Velm-Goetzendorf, the name of the old willow trees, which grow near the river. The Velue wines are nature-based and fermented spontaneously inside stainless steel tanks. The Velue Riesling is originated from the area Haidthal. The eastern-facing slope of the Haidthal provides ripe aromas and minerals. The grapes of this wine are harvested by hand and carefully selected. After a short maceration time the Velue Riesling becomes spontaneously fermented at 23-25°C inside a steel tank. malolactic fermentation with battonage for 5 months on the lees. Unfined, unfiltered.

 

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Zillinger Gruner Veltliner Reflexion - Lage Kellerberg 2016

PROFILE:  Rich flavor of yellow fruits with extreme spice and minerality on the finish. Savory profile is a result of malolactic fermentation and lees contact during a long fermentation.

GRAPE GROWING:  Certified organic and Demeter bio-dynamic. Johannes uses Demeter treatments 500 (horn manure), 501 (horn kiesel mountain crystal) and 507 (herbs and valerian to help with frost and vine relaxation). A small group of local winemakers co-produce the fermented manure 30km from the vineyard. Needless to say, all grapes are manually harvested

WINEMAKING:  Long maceration, slow and gentle pressing more than 8 hours, fermented with natural yeasts and matured 4 months on the lees, with Battonage.

MORE ABOUT THE WINE:  The “Kellerberg” vineyard is the heart of Johannes’ winery. Next to the vines, several types of thyme were planted for greening. The thyme is harvested to make tea and extracts. The old Veltliner vines are constantly providing the same high quality of wine every year. The "Reflexion- Kellerberg" is made of 100% physiological and ripe grapes, which are harvested by hand. For the production of this wine, grapes of the second round of the harvesting process are used.

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GRAPES:  Chardonnay 50%, Scheurebe 25%, Riesling 25%

PROFILE:  Apricot, Christmas spices, brioche, a bit of terra cotta. The Chardonnay provides fruit, weight, texture. The Scheurebe is there for floral characteristics. The Riesling solera is the structural backbone of the wine, it is there for acidity and a rocky mouthfeel.

GRAPE GROWING:  Certified organic and Demeter bio-dynamic. Johannes uses Demeter treatments 500 (horn manure), 501 (horn kiesel mountain crystal) and 507 (herbs and valerian to help with frost and vine relaxation). A small group of local winemakers co-produce the fermented manure 30km from the vineyard. Needless to say, all grapes are manually harvested.

WINEMAKING: 50% Chardonnay (intercellular fermented in 500 lt amphoras to 5.5-6%). After intercellular, it is co-fermented with 25% Scheurebe (from stainless) the rest of the way (short must fermentation). Finished with 25% Riesling (Solera-system of vintages 2013, 2014 and 2015, in wood). Untreated, unfiltered with zero sulfur addition.

MORE ABOUT THE WINE:  The "Solera-System" of Riesling which has been built up since 2013 gives character to this wine. Structure comes out of the must fermentation of Chardonnay from selected berries and grapes which is done in amphoras of 500 liters. The revolutionary taste of this wine is the result of nothing added nothing removed winemaking.

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Zillinger Zweigelt Velue 2015

100% Zweigelt. Certified organic and Demeter bio-dynamic. Johannes uses Demeter treatments 500 (horn manure), 501 (horn kiesel mountain crystal) and 507 (herbs and valerian to help with frost and vine relaxation). A small group of local winemakers co-produce the fermented manure 30km from the vineyard. Needless to say, all grapes are manually harvested.Fermented in stainless steel, slow and gentle pressing, stored in big, old barrels of oak and small, used barrels of acacia. Unfined, unfiltered.

Fresh cherries and red berries, juicy and spicy, perfect length. A great representation of cold climate Zweigelt, without oak influence

"Velue" is the old name for Velm-Goetzendorf, the name of the old willow trees, which grow near the river. The Velue wines are nature-based and fermented spontaneously inside stainless steel tanks. The Velue Zweigelt is originated from the area "Haidthal" and "Sonnberg". Both areas are windy and chilly. That gives you the advantage of late harvesting, thus the wine is physiological, ripe and has a moderate alcohol concentration. The Zweigelt has a subtle aroma, which perfectly fits this type of wine. The grapes are harvested by hand and carefully selected.

 

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Zillinger St. Laurent Reflexion - Lage Steinhal 2013

PROFILE:  Fresh red berries and spicy, minerality and long endurance on the palate. Soft enough for New World Pinot Noir drinkers, earthy and structured enough for Old World wine lovers

GRAPE GROWING:  Certified organic and Demeter bio-dynamic. Johannes uses Demeter treatments 500 (horn manure), 501 (horn kiesel mountain crystal) and 507 (herbs and valerian to help with frost and vine relaxation). A small group of local winemakers co-produce the fermented manure 30km from the vineyard. Needless to say, all grapes are manually harvested.

WINEMAKING:  Fermentation in open vats, slow and gentle pressing, stored for 18 months in 1500 liter barrels of acacia and oak. No new oak influence.

MORE ABOUT THE WINE:  The "Steinthal" vineyard is one of the most traditional locations in Johannes’ village of Velm-Götzendorf. Next to the vines, several types of thyme were planted for greening. The thyme is harvested to make tea and extracts. The old Sankt Laurent-vines are constantly providing the same high quality of wine every year. The “Reflexion- Steinthal” is made of 100% physiological and ripe grapes, which are harvested by hand. For the production of this wine, grapes of the second round of the harvesting process are used.