The new assortment
Streamlined, with Grüner Veltliner in the foreground – this is how the assortment of wines is presented as of 2020.
The balance that Carmen & Herbert strive for in their wines will also be reflected in the product lines, with their wines now organised into four series:
Welschriesling & Grüner Veltliner
These are wines that are juicy and simply fun to drink. They radiate pure joie de vivre and invite the taster to explore them in a leisurely fashion
Chardonnay & Grüner Veltliner
These wines are the house’s calling card – an invitation to all wine lovers to broaden their horizons. The wines speak clearly of their origins and represent their grape varieties in ways that go beyond the usual limits.
The vineyard, the soil & the terroir characterise these wines, plus the unmistakable signature of the winegrower. The three Grüner Veltliners in this category typify the ‘New Classic’. Three revelations.
Hirschreyn – Grüner Veltliner
This is the coolest of the Zillinger vineyards, a loess slope facing north, on the edge of the forest. ‘Here the wind whistles, the entire day through.’ (Zillinger). The wines are savoury in character; very lively, very vibrant.
Weintal – Grüner Veltliner
Also a cool and wind-swept site. The loess soil here is very deep and rich in limestone, with a top layer of humus. These old vines produce a wonderfully ripe, powerful Veltliner with a marvellously cool elegance and minerality, year in and year out. The particularly fresh microclimate here gives the wines their fine aromas & complexity.
Kalkvogel – Grüner Veltliner
The soil in this vineyard – Vogelsang – is rich in limestone and light in texture; only the topsoil is composed of loess, sand & sandstone. The wines are very delicate, mineral-driven & savoury, with a wonderful elegance – they are real long-distance runners.
4) Edition ‘Z’. (Crossing borders)
Edition Z is the qualitative spearhead of the wine estate. Here the winegrower shows restraint up to his limits, leaving the stage entirely to the terroir. Whether sand, sandstone, lime or loess, the expression of the soil can be found in the wine. These selected sites in which the grape variety forms the vehicle for the terroir... Herbert Zillinger’s signature is unmistakable, but he acts behind the scenes, gently guiding the wine down nature’s path. Edition Z wines stay on the skins longer and are only bottled in the best vintages.
Radikal – Grüner Veltliner
This wine is full of energy and virtually dances on the palate. Aromas of quince, meadow flowers, fresh bread crust and a hint of beeswax caress the nose. Radikal shows enormous elegance, with plenty of depth and length.
Elementar – Grüner Veltliner
Here Herbert Zillinger explores the tension between power & ease of expression. The wine is serene in character, showing aromas of acacia blossoms, rosemary and basil. Thrust & opulence develop on the palate; Elementar is juicy & earthy, with cool minerality.
Profund – Traminer
Traminer can also be like this: old vines & stringent selection yield a wine with an almost wild herbal spiciness. A fine scent of roses, marshmallow and lychee emerges from the glass, while on the palate the wine is simultaneously lively, calm & composed. A wine for thoughtful hours, for philosophising, for slowing down the passage of time.
New: The Freestyle series
Popcorn & Foxy, the two new wines in the new Freestyle line, which the Zillingers themselves call ‘their playground’. Here, it is solely intuition that makes the decisions. Vivacious wines, with a lot of lively flow across the palate. Fermentation on the skins, bottled unfiltered. Or to put it another way: wines to surprise you.
A glance into the future
With the focus on balance & origins, Carmen & Herbert has found their path. But Zillinger is convinced that development has only just begun. ‘When you’ve found out how to improve quality, the truth is that new avenues open up every year.’
Carmen & Herbert Zillinger have already identified the ways that they want to go over the next few years: Biodynamics means constant learning, observation & readjustment. For example, the Zillingers want to improve their compost management. In addition, their work with animals is to be expanded – sheep in the vineyards are already keeping the greenery nicely cropped.
Last but not least, all wines are currently bottled in screwcaps, including the top selections. ‘It is the ideal closure for us; it means we have the oxygen supply under control, which is important because we use extremely little sulphur. But we also keep our eyes and ears open when it comes to the subject of closures – and of course, we remain open to future developments.’
Climate change does not stop at the borders of the Weinviertel, either. Many Weinviertel growers are already thinking about replacing their Veltliner vines with other varieties. Carmen and Herbert Zillinger think this is the wrong way to go. One wants to remain true to Grüner Veltliner. And what’s more: in the future, it will be even more of a focal point for their work.