Schmutiziger "The Dirty One" - Luka Zeichmann - Burgenland, Austria 75cl
BOTTLE SIZE: 75CL
THE WINEMAKER: JOISEPH / LUKA ZEICHMANN
The grapes come from a tiny parcel in Luka’s village that was previously farmed by his Grandfather and father. He has been making wine here in tiny batches since 2013. This is Luka’s ‘free’ vineyard. No commercial
aims or expectations, and a total experiment of nature, co-planting, agroforestry... an absolute haven of biodiversity, insects, animals, bees, vegetables, herbs, and much more. It has been a work in progress for many years, various new varieties have been planted and new wines will arrive in the coming years.
Joiseph is the brainchild of winemaker Luka Zeichmann, who is only 25 years old (turns 26 in November). In this project he has partnered with his godfather Richard and his friend Alex, both of whom are in charge of the viticulture but Luka oversees the project. All of the vineyards are near or around the town of Jois, just north of lake Neusiedl in Burgenland - 'See' means Lake in German, so Jois-'see'-ph is sort of a play on words and represents a fictional character. Luka actually wants to make comic strips eventually.
2015 was the first vintage for Joiseph, and Luka's first time making wines with all of these varieties (he was 23 at the time). His very first wine was actually made in 2013 when he was 21 from his grandfather's small Pinot Blanc vineyard - a wine that he is now starting to make again under a separate label (stay tuned). Luka is still at uni, currently studying agricultural science but has delayed the completion of his degree due to his wine work. His training has been top notch - he did two harvests with Markus Altenburger, and for the last year he has been working full time as Franz Weninger's vineyard and cellar assistant.
Luka is perhaps one of the most gentle and humble human beings I've had the chance to meet. He is so connected to his land, to nature, to his vines... He grew up in Burgenland, his family have always had organic plots, organic orchards (from which they make incredible natural ciders), so farming organically and making wines with the littlest possible intervention has never been a question, it's a complete way of life for him. He is also part of the local forest preservation society and looks after a specific section of forest. He does not have wi-fi at home, hardly ever uses social media... wise beyond his years. When I told him he should get on Instagram, his reply was 'sure... but then I need a phone with a camera.' I think that says it all.
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