e-mail of the week – happiness is a warm pfaffl

Friday, November 12, 2010

Headlined “Irrational”, this most entertaining newsletter was e-mailed to me by Austria’s Weingut Pfaffl. I share it with you uncut and unedited.

It is time to tell you a little story. The story of our Heidrom. It is redwine, but what souds that simple, is something that needs great efforts, much time, enough patience and some overcoming. It is a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Both grape varieties grow here in the southern Weinviertel region, to the north of Vienna. Sounds weird, considering that this region is famous for its Grüner Veltliners. And it is weird.

Elsewhere these grape varieties carry many fruits, but we already reduce them with the pruning of vines, because we are sure: wines just become great by our overcoming to invest great efforts in the vinyards that finally give rediculous small amounts of fruits. Our senior-winemaker Roman Pfaffl was already convinced about when he planted the grapes. Roman Joseph Pfaffl took this philosophy and extended it: more canopy management, even when this means that you have to work sitting on the ground when it is unbearably hot.

Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are harvested and fermented seperately. Then, still seperate, we fill them into new barriques, which we get from France. The wines stay there for one year. Then the big tasting starts: How much Merlot this time, how much Cabernet Sauvignon? Unbelieveable, what difference really small changes could make. But Heidrom is not ready, yet! It has a good reason that the name Heidrom comes from Heidi and Roman Pfaffl: After both parts merged to Heidrom, the wine rests in barriques for one more year. Finally, after it was bottled, we give Heidrom another year of recreation in our winery. We present it to you four years after pruning - voilà Heidrom 2007.

Okay, that's really weird. But if you want something special, you cannot be rational.

PG: The newsletter continues with a vintage report...

Our vintage 2010
It is no easy vintage, says Roman Josef Pfaffl. In spring, we already saw that there will be little crop. Later in June, the rain had some negative impact on the frail blossom. In summer there was pretty much work to do in the vineyards. Because of the alternation of rainy and hot, sunny days, the sprouts and leaves grew very fast and we had pressure to cultivate them. But the weather enabled the berries to bring sugar and acidity in balance. Finally our vineyards were haunted by masses of starlings. This caused us even more harvest losses. So 2010 for us means less wine, but with very good quality; good fruity acidity at a great ripeness. I am really looking forward to the wines of 2010!

PG: ... and ends on this happy note:

Grandpa is 90
We wish him all the best
Our dad, grandpa and great-grandfather, the oldest Roman Pfaffl, celebrated his 90th birthday in November. That of course means, we will have a big party.

We are grateful that our grandpa is still fit and healthy. Yet, he is a big help for us in the winery, as he fulfills important tasks within our team. He is almost our chef de cuisine when it comes to our daily family lunch. Small deliveries are no problem for him and the way to the post office belongs to his agenda, too.

We wish him all the best and are looking forward to his 100th birthday!

PG: Me too! And from the looks of his photo, he’ll make it with some years to spare.

Weingut Pfaffl

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