It was also serendipitous to some degree as my importing business had also just begun the year prior, and that January we began a journey together.
Susanne and Stef are the third generation to take over the Renner family estate. Helmuth and Birgit have always encouraged their children to follow their passion, the sisters went from designing fashion (Sus) and environmental engineering (Stef) to winemaking.
What began as rennersistas in 2015 has evolved to Renner und Rennersistas with youngest sibling Georg joining the domaine at the start of 2020. As they finish their 6th vintage, they are considered one of the most dynamic duos (now trios) of new wave Austria.
The three siblings grew up in the village of Gols, a wine village on the north east shore of Lake Neusiedl in Burgenland. A short 45 minute drive from Vienna, it is Europe’s shallowest lake, surrounded by reeds and teaming with bird life. With high humidity and moderate temperatures, Gols has the longest hours of sunlight in Austria, a very special microclimate for growing grapes. Balmy summers also make this a popular destination for boating and recreation.
The wine families in Gols have become known globally for pioneering community and the spirit it embodies, with the founding of the Pannobile group in 1994, Helmuth Renner being one of its founders. Together they share ideas, opinions and experiences as well as tasting collectively regularly. This progressive group leads the charge on organic and biodynamic farming, a testament to the power that community can bring to a region.
The vineyards have been certified organic since 2012. A great foundation to start with, Sus and Stef wanted to explore biodynamics, and were fortunate to be advised and helped in this by Claus Preisinger, who also happens to be Susanne’s partner. With the 12.5 hectares now certified in Demeter since 2018, the vineyards team with life and cover crops.
Their non tillage farming approach protects the soil, slowing evaporation during dry periods and keeping carbon in the soil, a factor increasingly sought with climate change.
A long term vision, a balanced vine has greater ability to adapt to extremes in the weather which unfortunately are occurring far more regularly.
Stefanie became the chosen one, so to speak, when it came to who would take the winemaking reins. instead of going to winemaking school, Stef decided it would be more exciting to intern with other winemakers. She gained this knowledge abroad, with Tom Lubbe of Matassa in 2015 and our very own Tom Shobbrook in 2016.
Their ambition is definite: characteristic wines that represent where they come from, or in a more basic sense, bloody good wine.
You’ll find in your December Borough Box the Rennersistas Superglitzer from the 2019 vintage. A blend of indigenous Austrian varieties, St Laurent, Zweigelt and Rösler.
Rösler I hear you say, it’s a modern hybrid cross of Zweigelt and Blaufränkisch.
A portion of the fruit was whole bunch pressed whilst the majority was fermented on skins for seven days, half destemmed, half whole bunches. It then spent six months on lees in used barrels of varying sizes and an additional four months in tank prior to bottling. All Rennersistas wines are unfiltered, Superglitzer has a touch of sulphur added at bottling stage.
I adore this vintage, it brims with life. There’s blackcurrants intertwined with sage and black olives. Flecks of pepper, pops of fruit, sarsaparilla and minerality running through it. Fresh and fluid it can even handle a chill on warmer days.
And while you’re drinking your bottle of Superglitzer, jump onto spotify and hit up Stef’s playlist: inahellmood