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The Weingut Graf Hardegg, part of the Gut Hardegg in the northern Weinviertel region, is known for innovation, biodiversity and for grape varieties that are rare in this country. This is especially true for Viognier, which has been grown on the thirty-hectare estate since 1995 and had become rare even in its home region on the northern Rhône in France until its renaissance in the mid-2000s. Now Maximilian Hardegg and winery manager Andreas Gruber launched their first sparkling wine from this grape variety. Willi Balanjuk, wine director of the Austrian trade magazine A la Carte: "Viognier is a sensational grape variety and the 'V' Brut Nature is a more than successful addition to Hardegg's range." The grapes were harvested in the Ried Steinbügel in mid-September in 2019, and after 31 months of ageing on the fine lees, it was bottled as Brut Nature at the end of August 2022. "We are, after all, known for Viognier and have also been making sparkling wines regularly since 2004. Both from passion. So it made sense to combine these passions. Now, on the occasion of the Day of Austrian Sparkling Wine, we proudly present our first "V" Brut Nature alongside the new vintage of the two established Grosse Reserves," says Maximilian Hardegg at the tasting in mid-October at Hotel Rosewood Vienna. The Brut Grosse Reserve, made from 75% Chardonnay and 25% Pinot Noir, and the Brut Rosé Grosse Reserve, made from 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Zweigelt, are also from the 2019 vintage and the Ried Steinbügel, Hardegg's sandy and chalky monopole. The sparkling wines are available in well-stocked wine shops, the ex-cellar price of the "V" Brut Nature is 30 euros.
This is how the "V" Brut Nature tastes. Estate manager Andreas Gruber: "With its complexity and deep aromas, Viognier is a particularly exciting grape variety. The Brut Nature finish gives the sparkling wine, with its fullness from fermentation in small wooden barrels and its delicate exotic aromas, a taut kick, and the minerality from the limestone a fine, long finish. The fact that Viognier can cope well with heat and dryness also suited us in 2019. The sparkling wine shows itself fresh and animating." Two mature sparkling wines from the house were also tasted, the Brut Große Reserve 2014 and the Rosé Brut 2013, both from the magnum. Willi Balanjuk: "The maturity potential of these two sparkling wines is more than impressive. The sparkling wines from the Graf Hardegg winery should generally be allowed to mature at home for a few more years before they are opened."
Viognier at the Hardegg estate. Viognier thrives excellently in the Steinbügel vineyard on the maritime sandstone soil with calcareous clays, although it is considered difficult to cultivate and generally yields little. The wines captivate with aromas of peach, mango, melons and roses, with elegance and finesse. In Austria, Viognier is not listed as a quality grape variety, which is why neither the vintage nor the grape variety may appear on the label. At Hardegg, Viognier is therefore symbolised by the "V" on the label. Viognier originated in the northern Rhône.
The Gut Hardegg
is located in Seefeld-Kadolz in the northern Weinviertel near the Czech border and is owned by the Hardegg family. Maximilian Hardegg manages the thirty-hectare organically farmed vineyard as well as the agricultural estate. Animal welfare, sustainability and a high level of biodiversity are of great concern to him and his family. With the creation of biotopes, water ditches, hedges and windbreaks or the annual songbird count, the farm takes important measures for landscape conservation and biodiversity in the region.
The Hardegg vineyards are located within a radius of about eight kilometres around the castle and are spread over three vineyards. The soils are mainly calcareous sedimentary and raw rock soils with a high sand content. The average annual rainfall in Seefeld-Kadolz is 400 to 450 mm, which is a lower limit for the vines. Therefore, special attention is paid to soil improvement, humus build-up and water storage capacity.
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Großkadolz 1, 2062 Seefeld-Kadolz, Austria
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Graf Hardegg »V« Brut Nature 30 Euro
Graf Hardegg Brut Rosé Große Reserve 22,30 Euro
Graf Hardegg Brut Große Reserve 2019 22,30 Euro
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