Weingut Türk: Austria’s Finest Winemaker

23 Dec 2020
5 min read
Located in the picturesque village of Stratzing in the Lower Austrian wine-growing region of Kremstal, Weingut Türk is home to some of the country’s most exceptional wines. By respecting nature and intervening as little as possible in the vines’ growth process, the winery is able produce high quality, award-winning wines that beautifully reflect the terroir. FOUR speaks to owner Franz Türk to find out more…

Can you tell us a bit about Weingut Türk, its history, its vision and its philosophy?

The winery’s roots go back to the beginning of the 18th century when Weingut Türk laid its foundations in the village of Stratzing. The most important element for our family was and continues to be upholding a production philosophy that maintains everything in good condition in respect of the next generations. This is achieved through nature-focused and sustainable production processes and allows our wines to authentically reflect the region’s soil and annual climate. Our wines are the quintessential representation of the Kremstal/Krems Valley in a glass, and our goal is to show people around the world the potential of Grüner Veltliner. Our wines are produced to be enjoyed, and are intended as the perfect complement to food.

You are specialists in the production of Grüner Veltliner – tell us more about how this became your specialty and what makes this wine so special.

The  Grüner Veltliner grape variety is perfectly suited to the soil and climate of our region and has the potential to compete with the best white wines of the world. A few years ago we won the Best White Wine in Show at the International Wine Challenge (IWC) in San Francisco. This means that our Grüner Veltliner was the best white wine in all varieties from 29 countries, which is a massive achievement! The great thing about Grüner Veltliner is that it is a typical Austrian, a diplomat that pairs perfectly with a lot of different foods.

Where does the passion for winemaking stem from and how do you remain inspired day to day to produce top quality wines?

It seems it has been in my blood since I was born. Winemaking is what makes me happy, and I don’t see it as work but rather as my passion.  I am a little bit difficult as I am a perfectionist, and every year I think about what it is that I can do better. This is what keeps me motivated year after year to achieve the best.

What are some of the winery’s core production principles?

Only one thing: quality. In our vineyard, grapes of the highest standard grow and all we can do is honor them by transferring the quality into the bottle.

Tell us more about your wines? Tasting notes, grapes used, blend ratios, best pairings?

75% of our vineyards are planted with Grüner Veltliner. The good thing about Grüner Veltliner is that you can make a lot of different types of wines from it, depending on the soil and the ripeness at which you harvest. So that’s what I do, I produce Grüner Veltliner wines in various forms: from a light and refreshing style to an elegant, everyday companion and an intense type that’s rich in finesse with good aging potential. For sweet wine lovers, we produce icewine and TBA (noble sweet wine) which are well-balanced with both sugar and acidity. These wines account for some of the best in the world and this is thanks to our continental climate that creates its harmonious palate.

What makes your area ideal for the growth of wine grapes and in particular, the Grüner Veltliner variety?

We are located near the Danube and the climate is affected from the Waldviertel above us. This region has a far higher altitude and in the autumn, the cold, oxygen-rich air from the Waldviertel is displaced downwards into our locale, resulting in a large temperature variation between day and night which is good for the grapes. In addition, the autumn fogs bring us the fine, elegant and spicy notes which are really great for Grüner Veltliner and Riesling. In general, this leads us to produce more cool climate wines that are elegant and spicy with a good texture. This results in a unique Grüner Veltliner that can be relished over many years.

Tell us more about the winery’s growth and production process in general?

Our vines are old and deeply rooted in the soil. In our cellar, everything is done to the motto that less is more. Our processes are completed with the utmost care, and naturally – we don’t even pump anything, the process is free fall. One of the important aspects is the yeast, we don’t differentiate between fine and full yeast, our wine is always made with full yeast. We also don’t use any sulfite during production, it is only used for the the first time after careful bâtonnage of the young wine.

The winery boasts over 300 years of tradition and experience – how do you think this impacts the growing, harvesting and production process?

It isn’t a lot, but the experience help us to see everything in a more relaxed way. We know that the laws of the nature govern our work and that we are only the responsible administrators that form part of this fleeting universe. Everything is loaned from one generation to the next. I am always open to learning new things but I take the time to proof it carefully and if it is good for us and also for the next generation, then I can do it. So I try to keep the process in line with the tradition of my ancestors but sometimes if it is good for the wine’s quality, I like to do something new. Of course, there is also the economic part and sometimes I need to remember to do what is in the best financial interest of the winery.

What are some of the awards the wines have won?

We have won a handful of awards including the Best White Wine in Show in San Francisco; Hall of Fame London; Star of Prodexpo in Moscow; a lot of other trophies in London; Best of Class at the China Sommelier Wine Challenge in Shangh and Winner of the Global Grüner Veltliner Challenge in Australia, among others.

You are the first winery globally to do a label on the bottom of a wine bottle – can you give us details on this?

As the first winery in the world to introduce this innovative colour code, we want to make wine selection easier for wine lovers.  It is an absolute novelty in the wine world – refined yet simple. Labelling on the bottom of a bottle has long been used for many other products, for example, perfume. But this is something unique for wine bottles, which are often stored in climate-controlled wine cabinets or on wine racks! An innovation that clearly assists wine lovers through its well thought-out colour selection. We have also registered this concept and idea for protection.

How did this idea develop ?

Last year, while visiting a restaurant in the Wachau and enjoying some glasses of good Green Veltliner in front of a wine cabinet, I saw many bottles of wine – and that triggered the idea: we’ll let our sun logo shine in different colours on the underside – the outside-bottom – of the bottles.

Tell us about the color code?

We’ve developed a colour code that provides important information at a glance. The lighter the colour, the lighter the wine; a more powerful colour signifies a fuller wine with more weight. The colour selection will also reflect the colour of the soil or fruit that is reflected in the wine. Our Riesling, for example, will greet you with an apricot-coloured sun, while the Grüner Veltliner from the primary rock soils of our single vineyards will shine in hues of gold, silver and bronze. Naturally, these colour indications will also be featured on the packaging.

What is the winery looking to achieve in the future in terms of wine making?

A winery whose wines are a benchmark of Austrian white wines. At the moment, we are exporting our wines to 23 countries and my target is that in the next ten years, it should be 46 countries.

How do you hope your wines will impact people?

We hope people will appreciate our creations for being a unique style of wine that is handcrafted and full of character.

What are your indispensable Weingut Türk favorites?

Grüner Veltliner is my favourite due to its versatility – it allows each wine lover to find their perfect match. I like each type and style, but the single vineyard wines have their own character and after years of maturation, they are really a treat.

Can guests visit the winery and do tastings and/or cellar tours?

Of course, at our opening times everyone is very welcome.


To find out more about Weingut Türk, visit their website.