Weingut Martin Muthenthaler
Special Wines From Wachau, Austria
Martin does not come from a traditional winemaking background, thoough his family has grown grapes in the Wachau region. Martin used work as a tractor driver for Domaine Wachau (one of the largest producers in the region).
In 2006 he set off to start making his own wines. With the iconic Peter Veyder-Malberg as his close friend and mentor, Martin was never setting out to producing run of the mill wines. He set out to produce the greatest wines he could from his stunning vineyards in the Spitzer Graben valley.
The vineyard steep and difficult to work, the soils and aspects are varied, which make the area idea for the production of unique single vineyard wines. Martin chooses to work outside the traditional Wachau Classification (based on final alcohol levels), he prefers to bottle his wines as the sites and vintages allow.
The resulting wines are nothing short of stunning; the balance freshness with textural complexity, whilst holding true to the character of his two may varieties, Riesling and Gruner Veltliner. The wines are an exploration into what is possible form the region, when someone chooses to step outside the system.
Martin is working on another vineyard, that seems to have been abandoned for decades, with the old terraces either completely collapsed or in disrepair. From memory when the project is complete the vineyard will be madeup of 13 terraces, Martin is currently working on the third. He believes that he should be able to build a level each year, gradually planting the levels as he goes. He says he enjoys the work, and is in no rush to complete it.
I left the visit with Martin with the feeling that something special was happening, and that he was a producers that will be striving to push the styles and understanding of Wachau wines.
Worth a special effort to track down and consume some of these beautiful wines.