In the town of Dobermannsdorf, less than an hour’s drive Northwest of Vienna and a stone’s throw from Austria’s shared borders with Czechia and Slovakia, Weingut WEINWURMs is reimagining possibilities in their corner of the Weinviertel. Anton Weinwurm founded the winery in the 1950s with his supposed plantings of Grüner Veltliner. These grapevines turned out to instead be the red variety Zweigelt, which turned out to be a fortunate mistake. This happy accident laid the foundation for the red varieties they are known for today. Eventually, this family-owned estate grew to 28 hectares, producing sparkling, white, rosé, and red wines from numerous indigenous and international varieties. Since 2001, the winery has been in the capable hands of Anton’s grandson Georg and, since 2017, with his wife and partner Lisa. The couple has two small children who keep them happily busy.
WEINWURMs produces their wines within an area influenced by the Pannonian Climate, a confluence of prevailing winds and climatic conditions ideal for viticulture. Head winemaker, Georg, has 20 years of experience, apprenticing internationally in Australia under Andrew Peace and notably in Austria under Gerhard Markowitz. Georg farms his vineyards in accordance with nature but with a practical eye. The winery is Sustainable Austria certified, receiving a seal of quality for environmental standards in the vineyards to carbon footprint in the winery.
Truly a family affair, Georg’s mother, Hermine, is the caretaker of the vineyards, which she meticulously handworks. Georg’s father, Helmut, still serves and consults as the Senior Cellar Master of the house. And all will admit that this is only possible with the tremendous experience Lisa brings from her studies in international business and marketing. Lisa’s family also has a rich history in winemaking and vineyard management. Her command of English, forward thinking outlook, and knowledge of the wine industry helps to clearly convey the WEINWURMSs message.
The family produces wines from up to 13 varieties, including lesser-known ones such as Rivaner and Red Muscat. Although in addition, they have cuttings of Syrah, not generally seen in Austria, a relic from Georg’s time in Australia. Rounding out their bottlings, the Weinwurms produce classic but elegant versions of Weinviertel DAC-certified Grüner Veltliner and Austria’s red sweetheart, Zweigelt.
In the cellar, WEINWURMs is careful and deliberate. Georg uses indigenous and neutral inoculated yeast during fermentation based on the grape variety and its conditions. The majority of fermentation takes place in stainless steel with no oak influence. The wines receive a small amount of sulfur upon bottling to maintain freshness.