Jurtschitsch "Belle Naturelle" Gruner Veltliner 2020
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Direct Press Selection | July 2022
[PRESS 4 MIX • PRESS 4 WHITE]
Alwin Jurtschitsch and his wife Stefanie Hasselbach are probably the most influential natural winemakers in Austria’s renowned Kamptal region. They are still very much outnumbered by more conventional growers in the area, but like-minded friends like Anna and Martin Arndorfer, frequently used in past Direct Press selections, are helping making the Kamptal prominent on natural wine lists. The Jurtschitsch estate is on the larger side, 62 hectares, but that was cut down to size in order to ensure natural farming could be executed on this scale. Since 2006, Alwin has been tireless in his effort to convert his family’s holdings to organic viticulture and increase biodiversity. “The more life you have in the vineyard, the more stable the entire system is,” he says. They keep tweaking their approach, like using whey instead of copper sulphate to treat mildew.
Belle Naturelle is Grüner Veltliner “in its birthday suit” as Alwin calls it. It comes from terraced vineyards on granite in Langenlois. It is aged in red wine barrels and sees ten days on the skins but is not really orange; though there is some playful funk. Nothing that will scare anyone away, just enough to add some character. Mandarin oranges, chamomile tea, fresh ocean breeze, and a lean stony finish make this a delicious accompaniment to warm weather pastas and vegetables. Bottled with just 10mg/L of sulfur. Jonathan Kemp