We caught up with Leo Hillinger of Weingut Hillinger in Burgenland in Austria this month to see how the grapes were growing and just when it was we could expect the 2010 vintage to get underway, here’s what they said.

This year wine productions is about two weeks behind and will be a very small harvest, just as it was in 2009. Despite small quantity, the vintage is expected to be of high quality, also like 2009. The grapes are still growing right now and have been developing at a steady pace. Last week was hot and sunny, which helped the vines along. So long as there are few more weeks like that everything should be fine.

Leo Hillinger has been in charge of Weingut Hillinger since 1990. Since then, he has redeveloped the vineyard and built and up-to-date wine making facility while simultaneously acquiring vineyard sites in Jois, Oggau and Rust.

Weingut Hillinger is an environmentally sustainable vineyard located in the Burgenland area of Austria. “With regard to vineyard management, Leo Hillinger favors integrated plant protection, green manure and biological fertilization of the vines. Fertilization measures are applied with an eye on biological balance while organic fertilizers are used only in a supportive manner. Pest control is based on integrated plant protection. Instead of chemical measures, Hillinger relies on biological or biotechnical procedures (correct choice of grapes, beneficial organisms, and mechanical methods).”

The main grapes produced here include: white varietals of Welschriesling, Sauvignon blanc, Chardonnay and Gelber Muskateller (Yellow Muscat) and red grape varieties of Blaufränkisch, Zweigelt, St.Laurent, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz.

Approximately 50 % of the total production is exported to 12 countries, above all into Switzerland, the United States and the Far East but equally into Poland and Russia and further Eastern European countries.