Saturday, February 11, 2017

Meinklang and Demeter Certification

At yesterday's wine tasting here at the store the most interesting wine on the table was the 2015 Meinklang Burgenlandwhite, a Gruner Veltliner blend from Austria.  The wine is biodynamic and Demeter certified which is one way of saying it's about as wholesome and politically correct as it gets.

Meinklang is the name of the farm run by the Michlits family in Burgenland which is in eastern Austria south of Vienna.  The estate features unpruned or "graupert" vineyards along with fruit orchards, agricultural fields, and livestock in the form of Angus cattle.  The wine is matured in concrete egg-shaped containers on the property.

Demeter certification requires crop rotation, composting, and homeopathic sprays instead of all of the commercial fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides in use today.  All of the components of the estate listed above must work together to provide a self contained sustainability for the property.  An allowance for ten percent of the property to be set aside for biodiversity (flowers, trees, water features, and wildlife habitat) is another requirement.  When the Demeter Farm Standard is met, the property is certified and then inspected annually for compliance.

The healthier soil provided by the Demeter system create larger vine root systems resulting in wines displaying greater terroir.  Natural wines made in this manner exemplify the finest expression of what an environment can produced without additives.

Wine is a relative latecomer to the Demeter system which is philosophy that treats a certified estate as a living organism.  The system was in place for food production well before the advent of biodynamic wine into the system.  The term biodynamic is trademarked by Demeter and may only legally appear on a Demeter certified property label.

The 2015 Meinklang Burgenlandwhite  is a blend of 50% Gruner Veltliner, 40% Welschriesling, and 10% Muscat.  It is light and dry with a slight spritz probably due to its youth.  This wine would work fine with shellfish and green salads.

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