F.X. Pichler

Wachau, wachau Austria

F.X. Pichler is located in Wachau, a region so remarkably beautiful it has earned a spot on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The Pichler family have been farmers in the region for five generations. Franz Xaver (F.X.) built a winery in 1971, and his son Lucas makes the wines today.

Lucas’ grandfather began with three hectares of land, which has now grown to 20 hectares. 70% of their wines are classed as ‘Smaragd’, the highest quality in the codex, based on must weights, created by a select group of producers called the Vinea Wachau, while 30% are classed as ‘Federspiel’. From a need to adapt to the effects of global climate change, from the 2020 vintage F.X. Pichler will stop using these traditional classifications and, instead, adhere to the DAC Wachau regulations that retain many of the established Vinea Wachau quality criteria, but with the wines labelled as either regional, village or single site. The climate in the Wachau is influenced by several sources: the moderating Danube River, cold air from the forests in Waldviertel and Dunkelsteiner and warm air from the Pannonian basin.

The steeply terraced Liebenberg (meaning ‘love mountain’) vineyard is planted solely to Grüner Veltliner, with vines aged up to 65 years old. The wine is complex and layered with spice and savouriness on the finish. The Burgstall site gets sun all day but is also windy, which results in slower ripening. The ‘Burgstall’ Riesling’s nose is pure with hints of lime and peach kernel with a racy but rich palate. The ‘Steinertal’ Riesling displays white pepper and white peach with a hint of dried herbs. It has bracing acidity and is elegant in style. The Kellerberg is arguably the best single vineyard in Wachau, benefiting from south-east exposure and high diurnal temperature differences. Here, the grapes develop exotic aromas such as mango, passion fruit and honey that funnel seamlessly into a steely and crisp palate. The ‘M’, meaning ‘Monumental’, is one of their flagship wines, harvested later, from the best plots in the best years. The Loibenberg, one of Wachau’s largest single vineyards, is planted on austere primitive rock with a warm and sunny southerly exposure. The Riesling from this vineyard is opulent and intense with ripe peach and apricot notes.


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