• Winemaker: Albert Gesellmann
  • Village: Deutschkreutz
  • Hectares: 45
  • History: Mixed agriculture since 1767, 2nd generation focusing on quality wine
  • Farming Practices: Certified Organic, some biodynamic practices
  • Varietals: Old vine Blaufränkisch is the focus; also old vine Sankt Laurent, Zweigelt, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay
  • Top Vineyards: Hocberc, Siglos, Steinriegl

The People

Albert is one of the most skilled, meticulous, and thoughtful winemakers I know. He’s the legend in the room who listens as if he’s still the student.

Before taking the reigns at the winery, he worked several harvests in California and South Africa, which, while feeding his curiosity and opening his mind to new techniques, ultimately convinced him that Blaufränkisch has a rightful place alongside the great red wines of the world. So, he returned to Austria and put it on the map.

I was lucky enough to work a mini-harvest with him in 2015 (my first!), where I learned to be completely anal retentive about berry quality, to punch down (got jacked!), and to feign sobriety while tasting a 13 bottle lineup of legendary wines (sike, I already knew how to do that).

The Wines

I tasted through the Gesellmann lineup recently with an importer who shall remain nameless unless he outs himself, and when we got to the back-vintage “G”, I peeked at his notes as he wrote “Holy shit… lights out.”

Yes, friend. I feel the same.

The “G” is the tops, and you should drink it whenever you can, but when you can’t, the entry and mid levels will also smite you. You’ll be smitten. And that goes for the reds and for the whites. (The same importer wrote “baby Meursault” for the Chardonnay Steinriegel, and he was not wrong.)