Thomas once had a vision of a wine which was all natural and created by Weingut Hareter Thomas. A wine so pure, so original, and delicious that it couldn’t possibly be produced using the traditional methods. A new path had to be taken.
Kicking the old ways taught by the schools to the curb wasn’t a problem, but then merely doing without sulfur and fining agents wasn’t a viable solution either.
As it turns out, organic viticulture is an absolute must! The organic grapes are picked by hand and are fermented right away. Spontaneous fermentation only works with grapes carrying enough yeast on their own, without having been treated with fungicides.
Sulfurization is rarely necessary during vinification, since the perfectly ripe organic grapes contain enough antioxidants to protect them from oxidation. Fining is just as unnecessary. The grape skins of organic grapes produce significantly fewer tanning agents than those of conventional grapes.
Our natural wine is tasted regularly during the ripening process and stirred or aired when necessary. It doesn’t take much more than that. We learned that from experience. Years and years of experience. Because no natural wine can be vinified over night while still being tasty, stable, and storable.
Because what counts in the end is the taste! With all the leaving out, the creating new, the speculating, the hassle, and the learning, you have to keep your initial goal in sight: A wine as pure and original and - most of all – as delicious as possible.
But why „natural wine“ and not „nature wine“? Because it’s the law
In accordance with Austrian law, these wines are not allowed to experience any enrichment of their natural alcohol content, no sweetening or adding of alternative agents, with the exception of bentonite and sulfuric acid. The permitted maximum content limit for sulfuric acid is 70 mg/l within the analytical tolerance. Information such as “nature wine” is prohibited for all wines. Concerning sparkling wine (not Sekt) and perl wine, cloudiness and an oxidative note are not considered an imperfection. Terms such as “sparkling wine” and “pearl wine” are tolerated as long as they are additionally tagged with the term „pétillant naturel“ („pét nat“).
To sum it up, a natural wine is a wine that
- contains no added sugars to raise the alcohol content
- has not been sweetened
- had no alternative agents added except for bentonite
- contains a maximum of 70 mg/l of sulfur
- is a sparkling wine or pearl wine with clouding and is therefore a pét nat.
Considering all these aspects, all our wines can be regarded as natural wines, whether filtered like the “Naturbursch” or unfiltered like the “Heytshala”..
„Sulfur free wine“ is another story. Each of our wine labels - even on wines that have not been sulfurized, such as the „without”-wines or the Heytshala – include the term “contains sulfites”. The reason for this is the limit mark of 10 mg/l, which most wines cross entirely on their own, simply through natural fermentation. We included this allergen information to be sure to conform to the legal specifications.