The Wolfgang Pollak Winery, organic wine
Winery history and location in Austrian Weinviertel
My ancestors have been carefully crafting wine on this estate since at least 1765. In 1999 I took over the winery, and in 2008 I made the move to organic wine cultivation. Today our small vineyard covers a little over 2 hectares (5 acres). It is situated in the community of Retzbach, Austria, in the northwesternmost part of the Lower Austrian Weinviertel. The region is situated between the 48th and 49th parallels, and the village of Unterretzbach sits at exactly 16 degrees east longitude. This places it among the more northern wine-growing regions.
Climate of Retzbach
The microclimate is very much influenced by warm air from the Hungarian plains, which come to an abrupt end at the Manhartsberg, a small mountain range of about 450 meters. The more wet and cool Atlantic fronts descend from the neighbouring Waldviertel, causing a pronounced nightly cool-down, especially in late summer, that encourages the development of highly aromatic white wines. The area around Retz enjoys the most sunshine per year in all of Austria, which also makes high-quality red wines possible.
Organic wine begins with healthy soil
Our wines are grown in the Halblehen vineyard in sandy loam-loess soil, helping Grüner Veltliner and Riesling develop into unmistakeable wines with spicy and fruity notes and a delicate acid structure. By sowing diverse types of grass and clover in the vineyard, a self-regulating ecosystem is formed. Above ground the blooming groundcover offers living space for predators who, in turn, keep pests in check. Underground the roots of the plants help to naturally break up the soil. In this way humus is built up, the ability of the soil to store water is increased and erosion is prevented. Timely canopy management throughout the growth period, suited to the vegetation and weather, ensures that fungal diseases cannot easily develop.
Processing in the organic winery
The harvest begins when the grapes are physiologically mature. Since a lot of the work is done manually and the vineyards are located near the winery, the mechanical cultivation of the vines throughout year along with the transport of the crop together have a very small carbon footprint. Furthermore, the short distance ensures that the grapes can be processed quickly after the harvest. The gently produced must (juice) is placed into stainless-steel tanks or oak barrels. After fermentation the wine is allowed to age quietly over the winter. Simple handcrafted methods guided by modern scientific standards form the foundation of our winery’s tradition.
Accommodations of the winery
To give you plenty of time to sample our wines and explore the region, we offer a spacious guestroom as well as a tastefully furnished guesthouse (for 2 – 3 persons) with attached sunroom.