Fuchs und Hase
- Kamptal, Austria
Weingut Fuchs und Hase is an independent winery founded in 2014 by Stefanie and Alwin Jurtschitsch and Martin and Anna Arndorfer producing exclusively pet-nat wines. The Arndofers and Jurtschitsch's are very good friends and they spend a lot of time together, tasting together, and philosophising about wine over a beer. After learning about pet nat in other countries (none was made in Austria at the time), Martin and Alwin decided that they wanted to try to make some together. They went and shared their idea with their wives, and it turned out that Stefanie had already made one two years earlier as an experiment! She wanted to make a wine without any additions at all. It came out with 5atm's of pressure, so too high for a pet-nat, but it was a learning experience.
Pet-nat is a perfect wine for them to make together because they are philosophically aligned and it's important to work naturally. They are currently working with about three hectares total, each family contributing fruit from one and a half hectares, which are all certified organic and in the Kamptal. They chose to work with vineyard sites that are high elevation, near the forest, sites that have natural acidity and lower alcohol. In Austria, there is a saying, "where the fox and hare say goodnight" and it refers to a remote place surrounded by forest, which is how they came up with the winery name, the Fox and Hare, or Fuchs und Hase.
They make five to seven different cuvees each year, using different varieties. Every wine is a co-fermentation with different grapes and different levels of skin contact. Each cuvee is numbered by "Volume" and the higher the "Volume“ the more skin fermentation was used. The goal is to have velvet tannins which bring structure, stability and diverse flavors. All wines are fermentated with native yeasts, without any additions, and bottled unfiltered - a pure and handcrafted expression of Austrian petillant naturel. When fermentation is finished they bring the bottles out the cellar for a day and use cold winter temperatures in January / February to make tartaric stabilization. In the cold, the wine crystals drop out and afterwards we store the bottles for a short time bottom up before we do a manual disgorgement. Afterwards the wine is topped off with the same wine and sealed with a traditional crown cap.
The wines are fresh and savory, each expressing the variety in the bottle and the crisp, Kamptal fruit. Production is limited and in 2020 totalled approximately 1,500 cases.