Monday marked an exciting day for organic and biodynamic wine lovers. The group Renaissance des Appellations (translated to Return to Terroir) is an international group that focuses on the relationship between the unique impression of soil and climate on each growing area. Each participating winery must be certified organic or biodynamic by international standards and has to have practiced such for the past three years. The wines must also pass the quality tests as set forth by heads of the organization, N. Joly, O. Humbrecht, D. Léclapart, A.-C. Leflaive, P. Morey, Ph. du Roy de Blicquy, and Raimond de Villeneuve. Further regulations allow members to earn 1-3 green stars, depending on their activities in the vineyard, which they are free to use. To date, Austria has five participating wineries in the group including Nikolaihof Wachau, Weingut Schönberger, Weingut Geyerhof, Meinklang, and Weingut Rauschenecker. In fact, C. Saahs and Nikolaihof and  W. Michlits of Meinklang are members of the administrative committee.

Unfortunately, only three of the five, Nikolaihof, Meinklang and Geyerhof, were able to attend, but they, of course, represented well!

A little about each winery:

1. Nikolaihof of Wachau: Six wines from Nikolaifhof spread across the table – three Gruener Veltliner wines and three Rieslings. Nikolaihof follows guidelines of the Demeter Association and, as a result, use only natural methods of farming. The moon also plays an important role in planting and harvesting times. Nikolaihof is located in the Wachau region of Lower Austria and is one of the estates with the longest legacy of quality.

The selection of wines included (in addition to one other):

Gruner Veltliner ‘Hefeabzug’, Nikolaihof
Gruner Veltliner Im Weingebirge Federspiel, Nikolaihof
Gruner Veltliner Im Weingebirge Smaragd, Nikolaihof
Riesling Vom Stein Federspiel, Nikolaihof
Riesling Vom Stein Smaragd, Nikolaihof

2. Weingut Geyerhof : This winery has been practicing organic methods for the past fifteen years, and take pride in the balance they have found. Located in the Kremstal, a region in Lower Austria along the Danube. The winery places a special focus on the timing of the growing season

The wines:

Geyerhof Gruner Steinleithen 2009
Geyerhof Gruner Veltliner Rosensteig 2010
Geyerhof Riesling Sprinzenberg 2009

3. Meinklang: Hailing from Burgenland, this winery makes wines from both Austria and Hungary. They believe in biodynamic farming and practice everything from natural insect control to the use of self-produced fertilizers from the farm. Meinklang if one of the most widely known wines for being biodynamic, in part because of their flagship line, Biokult, which features a Gruner Veltliner, a Pinot Noir/Zweigelt, and a Rose Secco (all present at the show.) In addition to several of the wines from Hungary, Meinklang also showcased additional wines from Austria.

Overall, it was a wonderful way to immerse the New York wine culture into biodynamic wines. Did you attend?