Weingut Machherndl: Stories

Erich inherited Weingut Maccherndl in 1998, becoming a vintner in Austria’s Wachau Valley. Since taking over the helm, Erich has refined the distinctive Maccherndl wine style, melding the traditions of previous generations with modern, innovative techniques. His 20-acre winery is now also recognized as a certified organic wine grower.

Region: Wachau Valley, Austria

Year Founded: 1786

Proprietors: Erich Machherndl Jr.

Winemaker: Erich Machherndl Jr.

Size of property: 8.0 (19.75 acres)

Amount of Property Planted: 8.0 ha (19.75 acres)

Terroir: The Pannonian climate zone extends from the east into the Wachau. Cool wet air masses, rich in oxygen, flow down from the Dunkelsteiner forest in the south to the Waldviertel in the north. This continuous circulation of air, combined with unique soil types, strongly influences the aromas forming in the grapes. The mountain terraces are mostly weathered rock (gneiss, silicate and rock brown earth) while the valleys below are covered partly with islands of loess that evolve into light, sandy soils. Terraces are around 450 meters (1,475 feet) above sea level and 250 meters (820 feet) above the Danube river.

Annual Production: 3,333 cases

Varieties Cultivated: White: Gruner Veltliner, Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Muskateller. Red: Zweigelt, Syrah

In Austria’s Wachau Valley, falconers use the wings of doves—called Federspeil—to attract falcons. Federspeil wines, named for this tradition, must be at least 20 degrees Brix with an alcohol level between 11.5% and 12.5%.

Smaragd is the German word for emeralds. In the Wachau Valley, Smaragd is the common term for a bright green species of lizards that can often be found on grape vines, gleaming like emeralds in the sun. Smaragd wines must have a minimum natural harvest content of 21.4 degrees Brix and 12.5 percent alcohol.