A young winemaker based in Neusiedlersee on the Hungarian border. He is in charge of the vineyards and the winemaking but is helped by his family, including his lovely sister Bettina. This area is known for it’s red and dessert wines. However Bernd manages to make the most beautiful delicate and aromatic whites. He has a wonderful understanding and love of white wines and only has to hear once what a grape needs to be able to grow it and produce superb wine. He very rarely leaves his vineyards as he tends to all the vines himself – hence production is limited. The first sweet wine Bernd made won a Decanter Trophy in 2009 and it was for his Samling tba 2006. (Samling 88 also known as Schereube in Germany.) When he won even Vienna hadn’t heard of him, but he has a very loyal following.
Merry Widows was conceived from a stray comment while on holiday in the Lake District. I had one of those moments when I thought I must explore “my roots” – so – I invited three cousins to join me for a week in a rented cottage near Lake Windermere. These three women are in their eighties and I was excited at the prospect of being with people who were cultured, elegant and still searching for inspiration.
We had a wonderful week the weather was cold and clear and driving through the empty pre- holiday roads with a more beautiful vista at every turn was thrilling. Each evening I cooked a meal from the wonderful local produce we had purchased during the day. Round the dinner table we chatted endlessly. It was a stray comment that started my mind racing. My cousin, Winifred said “it is so wonderful to be here with lovely food and glass of wine. I do wish I could have a glass of wine with my dinner at home without opening a full bottle.” This conversation continued along the lines – it is so uncomfortable to look at a whole bottle when you are on your own. This large bottle says a few things: “you are alone and should not drink all of me”; “you will have to pour most of this down the sink”.
My over-active mind began stirring! I am a musician, what can I do? My late husband’s granddaughter has been involved in the wine business for years, her sister edits a fashion magazine – maybe, we have the basis of a team! As they say with “ach and krach”, Merry Widows Wine exists. The wines have been chosen and bottled, labels have been designed, we have waded through all the bureaucracy, the storage is ready and the web site is running. Let the fun begin.
We would like to have a glass of wine and feel special, glamorous and cared for. We are offering three bottle sizes: .250l which is all for you, .500l when you are sharing with a friend and .750l for a dinner or lunch party. Every time you open a bottle of Merry Widows Wine your life will brighten. The wines are chosen to give pleasure from the first moment when you are aware of the fragrant bouquet until the memory of the last sip.
Heinrich Hartl III
Five generations of the Hartl family shaped and formed the estate before responsibility was handed over to the 20-year-old Heinrich. In recognition of his role and achievements, the winery is now known by his name. Heinrich loves to experiment. He’s a winemaker by passion and strives for perfection in every wine that he makes. Two varietals, Pinot Noir and Rotgipfler, evoke in him a special zeal. Unsurprisingly, then, his great heroes are in Burgundy & New Zealand. Heinrich Hartl’s tools are his own hands and the wealth of experience and skills he has garnered over the years and which now define his winemaking. Weingut Heinrich Hartl III is located in the Thermenregion in Lower Austria, a sun-rich district south of Vienna. Here the summers are relatively warm and dry, but the winters are cold. The scraggy soils of the 40-acre estate are dominated by fast-draining limestone in Steinfeld (Oberwaltersdorf) and by shell limestone on brown earth in Pfaffstätten and Gumpoldskirchen. Rotgipfler, a regional specialty, together with St. Laurent and Pinot Noir, are the estate’s flagship varietals. He has won a Decanter Trophy for Rotgipfler 2008 in 2010 and Pinot Noir Reserve 2010 in 2013.
In 1986 Rudolf Rabl (Rudi), joined his father Rudolf senior at the winery. From this moment on, the joined efforts of father and son allowed to expand the size of the winery from then 20 ha to now 80 ha of privately owned estate vineyards. Not only the size has grown, the reputation has grown with it as numerous national and international awards prove. Weingut Rabl exports 50% of its wines and is therefore one of the best-known Austrian wineries worldwide. The three guiding principles of the winery are 1. Only perfect grapes can yield a top wine. 2. Must from perfect grapes allows minimal intervention. 3. No fear of powerful wines!
Rudolf was the first winemaker in Austria to champion the use of spontaneous fermentation commercially and is also an advocate of long maceration. The wines have won numerous Awards both Nationally and Internationally including trophies at both the Decanter Awards and the IWC.