A trailblazing Austrian winemaker going against the grain with delicate and elegant Blaufränkisch wine
- Bernhard's winemaking dream began as a small business run out of his garage. Through passion and grit, he soon settled into a winery in Eastern-Austria, turning it into a sustainably certified operation. Joined by his wife, Sylvia, they are now working towards full organic certification.
- Bernhard is most passionate about the juicy berry and lightly spicy flavoured Blaufränkisch grape variety. Grown in vineyards with dense clay soils, Blaufränkisch can be heavy and concentrated, but Bernhard has proved a dab hand at turning his favourite grape into delicate and elegant red wines.
- He says: "when you start from zero, you remember little instances from along the way. From selling my first bottle, experimenting with different blends to moving towards sustainability, the winemaking journey is filled with great memories".
Map of the Vineyard
I attended the technical school for viticulture in Eisenstadt and when taking the master class dared to take the step into my own winery.My parents ran the business as pure grape producers, which was not enough for me. I love wine in all its facets and was lucky enough to turn my passion into my profession.
I think the most beautiful thing is that you can be in nature most of the time and you can see how the vines and grapes grow over the year. Our approach is that the wine grows in the vineyard and not in the cellar, which is why the work in the vineyard is very important. In 2019, we did receive our sustainability certificate and have been converting to organic farming in 2020.
Our wine is perhaps somewhat "untypical" for our region - despite heavy clay soils, which tend to make the wines very fat and concentrated, our wine is delicate and elegant, yet full-bodied and powerful. With every sip you can feel the fine signature of the winegrower Bernhard, who is present at every step of the wine making process. From the first cut of the vines in winter to the filling into the bottle, Bernhard is fully in charge of the wine.
Which varietal / style is your passion and why?
True to our motto - we love Blaufraenkisch & Origin counts
3x Blaufaenkisch, 3x Lifeblood
When Sylvia and Bernhard speak of origin, it means Blaufraenkisch to them.
No other type of grape is so deeply rooted in the region, no other grape variety shows better where it comes from, no other vine variety amazes and convinces over and over again in this form.
It is therefore not a difficult decision to clearly focus the winery on Blaufraenkisch. since his debut 15 years ago, this decision legitimatised with corresponding qualities has been successful to Bernhard Ernst.
His lifeblood flows into his three top locations in Blaufraenkisch from the Deutschkreutzer Fabian, Goldberg and Hochberg vineyards.
Any tales of joy or sorrow along the way?
That my dream to become a winemaker became reality - from the garage to the real winery (which still works and our wines are drunk with pleasure) and that my wife now lives this passion and this dream together with me.
Most memorable moment making wine?
There are so many little memorable moments when you start from zero. Be it the first bottle of wine sold, a new blend or even a new grape variety or just the beautiful grapes after conversion to BIO this year.
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