Weingut Franz Hirtzberger

Austria, Wachau


5 Stars Falstaff 2013



Franz Hirtzberger and F.X. Pichler (now Lucas Pichler) are the pillars of the Wachau, literally and figuratively. They are the geographic pillars, representing the two ends, Loiben and Spitz. They are the stylistic pillars; the richness of the warmer eastern end, compared to the minerality and purity of the cooler western end of the Wachau. And they are the qualitative pillars; by the consensus of most the two greatest producers of the Wachau, indeed of dry whites in Austria. While there are differences in approach, Hirtzberger and Pichler share the essentials; pursuit of optimum ripeness, meticulous work in the vines, intimate knowledge of each terroir, and unbelievable amounts of work.  Franz told me that each year they do between 4 and 5 passages through each vine at harvest to pick the grapes only when each cluster is perfect. Compare this harvest approach to Grand Cru white Burgundies at multiples the price of even the most precious Hirtzberger cuvée. In the cellar indigenous yeasts are used, fermentations are done in steel, but aging is in larger, older foudres, and a special feature of Hirtzberger wines is Franz’s belief in not too long a time on lies and no batonage in order to express best the purity and minerality of each parcel. For those who love great wine, we have the very distinct honor to offer these!


Technical Information

Wine Varietals Vine Age Soil Type Farming Type
Grauburgunder Pluris Smaragd Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris) 25 years Deep and heavy clay soil Sustainable
Weissburgunder Steinporz Smaragd Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc) 25 years Weathered gneiss primary rock, layers of loess Sustainable
Neuburger Smaragd Neuburger 30-40 years Primary rock soils and rich in humus Sustainable
Grüner Veltliner Rotes Tor Federspiel Grüner Veltliner Average 15 years Blend of different Spitz vineyard sites Sustainable
Grüner Veltliner Kirchweg Smaragd Grüner Veltliner 20 years Deep and heavy clay soil, loess Sustainable
Grüner Veltliner Axpoint Smaragd 100% Grüner Veltliner 20 years Deep and heavy clay soil, loess Sustainable
Grüner Veltliner Rotes Tor Smaragd Grüner Veltliner 25 years Gneiss, mica and schist and brown soil Sustainable
Grüner Veltliner Honivogl Smaragd Grüner Veltliner 50 years Crystalline gneiss weathered soil, extreme minerality, rich in humus Sustainable
Riesling Steinerterrassen Federspiel Riesling Average 15 years Primary rock soils Sustainable
Riesling Setzberg Smaragd Riesling 25 years Pure gneiss primary rock soil Sustainable
Hochrain Riesling Smaragd Riesling Up to 50 years Weathered crystalline rock overlaid with a fine layer of sandy loam Sustainable
Riesling Singerriedel Smaragd Riesling Up to 50 years Extremely mineral soil of gneiss, mica, schist and ore-bearing primary rock Sustainable