Georg Schmelzer

Gols - Burgenland

Georg Schmelzer is a man of experiments and empiricism. He always scrutinises doctrines and does not care about the zeitgeist. Year after year, wines are bottled that clearly bear his signature and yet also tell of Gols and Lake Neusiedl.

Georg Schmelzer is a man of experimentation and empiricism. He fundamentally scrutinises doctrines and does not care about the zeitgeist. Examples of this can be found throughout almost his entire life as a winemaker. One exception was the early days, when he was just 17 years old - from one day to the next - when he had to take over the winery on the outskirts of Gols and try to give the farm a solid economic basis. Beginnings leave no room for experimentation - but often form the foundations for future projects, which he was soon to dedicate himself to. In 1987, he was one of the first to put a few barrique barrels in the cellar and plant Cabernet Sauvignon - unlike most Gols winegrowers, he never really warmed to the filigree and subtlety that are synonymous with Burgundy and Pinot Noir.  Cabernet Sauvignon is his variety, even though he knows that it is a poker game every year to get it ripe in the bottle. Even in the best years, he does not harvest more than 3000 kilos per hectare, which is why he only very rarely vinifies it as a single variety.

His affinity for expressive wines may also have been one of the reasons why, a few years later, he planted some of his plots with Rösler (an interspecific and fungus-resistant cross of Zweigelt x Klosterneuburger 1189-9-77). Intense and dark, with tannins², Rösler has stylistic similarities to Cabernet S. and is also ideally suited for long-term ageing in barriques.  At the same time, he looked after his Zweigelt vineyards - still his most important red variety today - and has an opinion that would be ideal for a discussion with colleagues. In his opinion, wines intensify their complexity when they do not come from a single site, but from a variety of different vineyards. 

Another turning point followed in 2007, perhaps the most important in Schmelzer's personal history as a winemaker. It was then that he decided to switch to biodynamic cultivation and rethink his previous approach. He not only began to apply the classic preparations, he simply wanted to become an even better and more conscious winegrower. 

If you wander through one of his vineyards today, you will find yourself in an amazingly diverse biotope. The earth is also bursting with life, giving you the overall feeling that you are actually dealing with nature in balance. 

In the cellar, he gives his wines every freedom. But his world is not just red: 55% of his wines are white. He has also been going his own way with them for a long time - he has been leaving his white grapes on the skins for just under a day after the harvest for a good 25 years now and has therefore been making white wines with a fine but noticeable tannin structure for a long time. Two interpretations form the avant-garde of his white wines, which, under the series name ‘Schlicht & Ergreifend’, show what happens when wine is simply left to develop in the cellar. A red duo with the same intentions impresses under the name ‘Zauber des Verzichts’. However, Georg Schmelzer now also takes a hands-off approach to his supposedly classic wines, producing ever more dynamic, full-bodied and profound wines year after year.