The winery is located in the municipality of Welgersdorf in the Eisenberg wine-growing region of Burgenland (Austria). Uwe Schiefer has worked in the gastronomy sector as a waiter and sommelier in renowned Viennese restaurants, including the Steirereck. After attending the Austrian Wine Academy in Rust, he founded his own winery in 1990. His motto is "The wine defines itself without exception in the vineyard itself". In accordance with the company philosophy "less is more", practically no technology is used in the vineyard and during vinification to emphasise the character of the terroir and the grape variety.
The vineyards comprise 20 hectares of vineyards in the Fasching, Hummergraben, Kroatische Ried, Reihburg, Saybritz, Szapary and Zudelgraben am Eisenberg, Tschaterberg (south-western foothills of the Eisenberg), Königsberg and Hannersberg (Hannersdorf) as well as in the municipality of Markt Neuhodis. There are also vineyards in the Mittelburgenland (4.5 hectares in Lutzmannsburg) and Leithaberg wine-growing regions. Some of these partly ancient steep slopes have been laboriously recultivated. The main variety is the Blaufränkisch with 92% share. The rest is planted with Merlot and Pinot Noir, as well as the white wine varieties Welschriesling, Grüner Veltliner,Pinot Blanc and Riesling. An environmentally friendly, bio-organic cultivation takes place. Special attention is paid to the optimal timing of pruning, thinning out and harvesting.
No enzymes, breeding yeasts or other aids are used. No filtration or fining is used. The wines are generally fermented spontaneously with the vineyard's own yeasts and mature slowly on the yeast in wooden barrels of various sizes according to the company's internal motto "pure slate" - a dogmatic purism. The flagship of the house is the "Blaufränkisch Reihburg", which can be stored for 20 years and more, selected from up to 80-year-old vines and matured in large wooden barrels. Other premium wines are, for example, "Blaufränkisch Szapary", "Blaufränkisch Königsberg alte Weingarten" and "Blaufränkisch vom blauen Schiefer" from the Eisenberg region or "Blaufränkisch Lutzmannsburg v.v." as well as "Blaufränkisch Leithaberg hoad" from Central Burgenland or Lake Neusiedl. Various frizzante, bottle-fermented sparkling wine, noble brandies, grape juice, apple juice, paprika powder and pumpkin seed oil are also produced.
The wine portfolio is to be streamlined in the future, the new top wine will be the "Eisenberg", an assemblage of the best plots, best sites and oldest grapes. The two top winemakers Bartolo Mascarello(Barolo, Italy) and Jean Louis Chave(Hermitage, France) are cited as role models. This path towards even more uncompromising quality is also to be enabled and supported by the partnership with the Munich entrepreneur Hans Kilger and the newly founded Schiefer & Domaines Kilger GmbH & Co KG.
Picture: © markus rossle