The winery is located in the municipality of Jois in the Burgenland wine-growing region of Neusiedlersee (Austria). The family has been growing wine for several generations. After long years of apprenticeship and travelling in Europe and overseas (South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, California), Leo Hillinger (* 1967) took over the management of his parents' winery in 1990. At that time, the estate comprised only one hectare of vineyards with a wine trade. Leo Hillinger carried out major structural reforms. At a cost of six million euros, a new production facility with state-of-the-art cellar technology, tasting lounge and seminar room was built and put into operation in May 2004. The production hall is one of the most modern wine-making facilities in Europe. Wine seminars, wine cellar tours, wine tastings and vineyard picnics are organised.
In 2005, a "flagship store" was opened in Parndorf in the Designer Outlet, where only the company's own wines are marketed. Between 2011 and 2016, Austria and Germany were followed by further stores/lounges/bars in Salzburg, Vienna (2), Kitzbühel, Linz and Munich. In 2008, a social project was started with the own label "Pink Ribbon" (a Secco sparkling wine) in favour of the Austrian Cancer Aid. The company is located in a foundation which is 100% owned by the Hillinger family.
The vineyards cover 80 hectares of vineyards in Jois (25 ha), Oggau (25 ha) and Rust (30 ha), including the Bandkräftn, Gmärk and Oberer Wald vineyards. About 60% of them are planted with the red wine varieties BlaufränkischThe company is stocked with the white wine varieties Welschriesling, Grüner Veltliner, Cabernet SauvignonSauvignon Blanc, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay and Gelber Muskateller to about 40%. In 2010 the conversion to organic viticulture was started. An average of 4,000 to 5,000 grapes are harvested per hectare, which corresponds to only about one kg of grapes per vine.
After many experiments the philosophy of the house was born. The top quality of the grape material should enable a non-invasive cellar technique and be reflected in fruit-driven wines. The selected grapes are fermented in stainless steel tanks. French oak barrels are used for the barrique wines. The flagship is the red wine ICON HILL. Through rigorous selection only one grape is processed per vine. The blend of grape varieties of the 36 months matured wine is a closely guarded secret of the house. Only 999 bottles are produced; the design is by star architect Zaha Hadid.
The top line "Hill" includes "Hill 1" (Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch, Merlot, Syrah), "Hill 2" (Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc) and "Hill 3" (Tockenbeerenauslese from Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc). White and red varietal wines are produced from all grape varieties. With products such as Rosé Sparkling Wine Secco and the "Small Hill" series (red, white, rosé, sweet) young consumer groups are addressed. Leo Hillinger's wines are also offered on cruise ships and Austrian Airlines flights. The product range also includes ice wines, fine brandies, chocolate, vinegar and wine jelly. About 450,000 bottles of wine are produced annually, about half of which are exported to 21 countries worldwide, including the USA and China.
There is a joint venture with the Constantia Glen winery in the historic Constantia area of South Africa. Two wines are produced here under the Constantia Hill brand name. The Constantia Hill white is a pure Sauvignon Blanc, the Constantia Hill red is a cuvée of Petit Verdot, Malbec(Cot), Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Leo Hillinger is on site twice a year for one month each to vinify the wines himself.