Gernot & Heike Heinrich, Burgenland


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Gernot and Heike Heinrich

A Modern Day Fairytale

The Heinrich family has farmed around the area of Gols on Lake Neusiedl in Austria’s Burgenland since at least 1730. The young Gernot Heinrich has firmly established his family’s wine estate as one of the most exciting in all Austria. Over the past 20 years, Gernot and his wife Heike pioneered the transition of the region of Burgenland-Neusiedlersee from simple white wine production to its predominantly red wine culture of today with high-quality reds and became famous for powerful red blends such as Salzberg, Gabarinza, and Pannobile.

When Gernot took over in 1985 he changed things around: he set his sights firmly on quality and ended up with 90% of his vineyards planted to reds. These are what made him famous: “Our initial success with these reds pushed us further into that direction. We wanted to produce great reds.” “What we are trying to do,” says Gernot Heinrich, “is continue the biodynamic philosophy that we practice in the vineyard into the wine cellar.” Gernot and Heike’s decision to convert to biodynamic viticulture in 2006 was based on the goal of making their vineyards successively more resilient and vital. The style of their wines has evolved and they have abandoned power and extraction for livelier wines with lower alcohol and increased freshness. Today, Heinrich’s wines possess gorgeous fruit as well as tannin, and they continue to improve with each successive vintage. Consequently, all of Heinrich’s wines are now extremely difficult to come by, and that in itself speaks volumes.