“We have developed a philosophy of sustainability with a very modern touch …”
Mr Kirnbauer, you have followed in the footsteps of your father as the scion of a wine-growing family: What new elements have you brought to the vineyard today?
We have developed a philosophy of sus tainability with a very modern touch: We complete up to four work steps in the vineyard in just one drive in the tractor – with lower CO2 emissions and less soil compaction. Using a probe, we measure temperature values, precipitation and air humidity, and calculate the risk of fungal infections in combination with the weather forecast. Thus we specifically prevent diseases. And we heat with wood from our own woodland, and use the electricity from our photovoltaic system. “Conservation through technology” one might say.
31 years ago, a phantom was sighted on your vineyard for the first time – the eponymous cuvée of your establishment. Does the vintner show his true soul in the cuvée?
The cuvée is the premier class of wine. In it, you taste the best from many wines – and a lot of lifeblood flows into the bottle.
Do you already have an idea for a future cuvée? If so, what character do you want it to have?
My last cuvée had a very private character – I composed it on the occasion of my wedding this year in June. It is only meant for personal enjoyment, however. We do already produce very popular cuvées: the K + K Cuvée in the base range, THE PHANTOM in the upmarket segment and in the absolute premium range FOREVER. A Blau fränkisch for the absolute top segment would still interest me, though.
For you, what is the charm of work in the vineyard, what do you love about cellar work?
After studying business, I worked as an executive consultant. Ten years ago I returned to the family vineyard – and I have not regretted a single day of it. My work is so varied. My work clothing ranges from rubber boots to smart suits for wine presentations. But unlike a doctor who forever deals with sick people, I move within an environment where I can enjoy a good atmosphere and positive dynamism. In the vineyard, my favourite thing is looking after the stocks in midsummer, and in the cellar it is the time of grape acceptance and selection. This comes down to just a few hours.
Which wine do you recommend for autumn and winter?
With chestnuts, game, and goose I recommend a varietal Merlot – because of its forestal aroma. You can taste autumn foliage, forest floor, a little truffle – this wine is also very suitable for a nice glass in front of the fireplace.
AUSTRIA BURGENLAND / DEUTSCHKREUTZ
250,000 bottles and 7 types of grape: more than 70 % of the turnover is achieved with the three red wine cuvées.