Alwin and Stefanie Jurtschitsch are the new generation in charge at this family-owned estate in Langenlois in the Kamptal region of Austria, having taken over from Alwin’s father Edwin and uncles Paul and Charles. The couple have travelled and worked extensively in France, Australia and New Zealand, experiences which have given them a fresh perspective on their work. They have brought this to bear on both the vineyards and cellar at Jutschitsch, whilst respecting the traditions and heritage of the family estate and the enormous progress made over many years, particularly by his father and uncles.
They began by putting the ecological principles that had been applied to viticulture and winemaking since the 1970s on an even broader but firmer footing, cutting yields and reducing the sources of their fruit to use only the very best vineyard sites, thus ensuring that only their finest grapes made it into the vats.
It is an uncompromising approach that meant ignoring some of their vineyards, but one that is paying dividends in terms of wine quality.
Alwin believes that the best wines are the result of the care taken in the vineyard, with as little interference as one can get away with in the cellar, so that his role might be described as a subtle blend of farmer and scientist, always trying to understand the soils, vines and winemaking processes as best he can in order to allow the vineyards their fullest expression.
Examples of this approach are the sole use of native yeasts found in the vineyards to ferment the wines, reductions in sulphur dioxide in winemaking and the introduction of a concrete egg-shaped vat for maturation of some wines alongside the large foudres that have been traditionally used. They are now among the foremost producers of Austria as a result.