Just a few miles west of the great shallow lake called the Neusiedlersee (literally, the new settler lake) is the town of St. Margarethen and the winery Rosi Schuster. While Rosi still loves to help in the vineyards, today her son Hannes runs the estate, which specializes in brilliant, long-lived red wines. Their nine hectares of vines spread themselves out among the finest and oldest vineyards in the communities of St Margarethen and Zagersdorf.
Certified organic, they produce some of the most distinctive and expressive red wines from Austria' signature varieties Blaufrankisch and Sankt Laurent, in addition to Zweigelt and since 2015, a Gruner Veltliner with a healthy shot of "Gemischter Satz", meaning more than a dozen of esoteric varieties, some of which we had never before heard of.
And while Hannes has made a name for himself as somewhat of a Sankt Laurent specialist amongst his Austrian peers, it is really Blaufrankisch that defines the estate, both in quantity and in importance. Hannes' style and winemaking techniques are greatly influenced by his friend and mentor Roland Velich of the Moric estate, who he has collaborated closely with for more than a decade. Working exclusively with subtle Austrian oak barrels by Stockinger, Hannes aims at brining the brighter side of the variety's fruit into the glass while expressing the various terroirs of the villages of Sankt Margarethen, Rust and Zagersdorf, where soils ranging from heavy loam to sandstone, gravel and limestone allow for distinctive wines that tell a tale of their place. This is what Hannes finds intriguing.
A joint project with Roland Velich at Moric called Jagini assures even greater quality, and places this estate among the very top red wine estates in Austria.