- Wagram, Austria
Josef Ehmoser and his wife, Martina, are crafting world-class wines in the Wagram, a region known for its deep loess soils that can go to a depth of twenty meters before hitting marine sediment. Josef took over the 17 hectare winery from his father in 1996. The Ehmosers philosophy in regards to winegrowing is to respect nature in the vineyards and in the winery, to highlight the personality of each wine without forcing it on a prescribed path.
As of 2018, they are certified sustainable by the Lacon Institute, which was not a big shift for them in the vineyards. And in 2020, they will begin the certification for organic agriculture. For years, they have not sprayed herbicides or pesticides. They have used minimum treatments as needed for mildew. They follow the weather and weather forecasts very closely and act accordingly. If it is hot and dry for many weeks, then treatments against mildew are not necessary. They do not spray against cochylis and eudemis moths, opting to use sexual confusion dispensers with pheromones instead. They do not drive through the vineyards often with the tractor to keep the ground and soil loose and to minimize compaction. They grow grass in the vineyards and keep it longer if it is raining a lot, to have competition for water and taking it from the vines. If it is too dry, they cut the grass short, giving enough water to the vines. They do not irrigate. At the winery, they have solar panels for heating and warm water. There is no need to heat or cool the tank rooms in the cellar as they are partially underground eight meters in the cool loess. At harvest, the grapes are harvested by hand, which is not required in the Wagram.
Loess in this area has a 30% limestone content and is great for Grüner Veltliner and Weissburgunder. Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc) has a long history of being planted in the Wagram. The wines are mostly fermented and aged in stainless steel, with the exception of the Weissburgunder, which is aged in large barrels, one 1500L and one 3000L. The wines are normally kept on the lees until they are bottled. The Ehmosers want to stick to tradition and only plant varieties that are native to the area. The Ehmoser wines are classic - clear, straight, and pure wines that distinctly express the famous loess soil of the Wagram.