Birgit Braunstein vinified her first wine in 1996. Her approach to her craft is perfectly described on her website, handling her vines and wines “with mindfulness, conscientiousness, and intention.” This makes sense, knowing that Birgit co-founded the first Waldorf school in Burgenland and is an avid student of qi gong, an ancient Chinese practice integrating breath, movement, and energy. Her viticultural philosophies reflect these ideals when tending to her vineyards in the Leithaberg DAC in Burgenland and translate to her winemaking at her estate in Purbach.
Her vineyards on the Leitha Mountains benefit from the site’s elevation, the warm currents from Lake Neusiedl, and unique shell limestone and schist soils. Her Goldberg vineyard claims old vines around 60 years old, and all of her vineyards support the permaculture of the land by supporting other flora and fauna in the area. Traversing through her 22-hectare estate, you’ll find everything from cherry trees to living spaces built for bees, chickens, sheep, and storks. Birgit converted her vineyards to organic in 2006 and immediately began to work towards biodynamic cultivation and achieved Demeter certification in 2009.
Birgit allows the multiple varieties she works with in her winery to speak to what they need in processing. She ferments and ages in various vessels from stainless steel to barrel and has even experimented with clay amphorae. The results are whites, reds, and rosés from varieties such as Chardonnay, Welschriesling, Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Blaüfrankisch, Zweigelt, St. Laurent, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Birgit lives on the estate with her twin sons, Felix and Max, and her parents. Felix and Max are in their early twenties, and both are winemakers in their own right, supported by their capable mother. Her employees are an extension of that; most have been with the company for more than 15 years, as sustainability for Birgit extends not only from the land but also to its people.