Franz Reinhard Weninger’s twenty-eight hectares of vineyards in and around the town of Horitschon, in the Mittelburgenland DAC, is where some of his oldest and most prized Blaufränkisch plantings flourish. A self-professed “soil geek,” Franz farms seven different single vineyards, all dedicated to the Blaufränkisch variety, amongst his Austrian and Hungarian holdings. Clearly a specialist in this varietal, Franz’s persistence and dedication to biodynamic farming sees fruition in the Horitschoner wines. The area, composed mostly of moderately heavy to heavy loamy topsoil, rich in iron and clay, imparts these single vineyard Blaufränkisch wines particular minerality. And the Pannonian climate with its hot summer days lends an expressive fruit characteristic to each wine.
With all of Franz’s wines, the importance of biodynamic farming is paramount. It is a practice he and his father have pioneered in Austria and Hungary. The use of indigenous plants growing in conjunction with the vines, erection of bird nesting houses, and the use of chamomile tea as a vine fortifier, are only a sampling of how deep Franz’s commitment to biodynamic viticulture runs.