To the Main Content
Franz and Maria Weninger at the Weingut Weninger

5 minutes with... Our Interview with Franz Weninger

Weninger is more! This is especially true for the wonderful wines and the pioneering spirit that runs in the family. We had the pleasure of having a very exciting and informative interview with Franz Weninger.

8gb: Hello dear Franz! Many, many thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions about you and your wines! For those who don't know your wines yet, what makes them so special in your eyes?

Franz: "We try to give our wines a drinkability that makes it easy to drink them just like they are. Food and wine pairings are always good but they aren't always necessary."

8gb: What do you like to eat with your wines? Which pairings do you like?

Franz: "Our regional varieties are characterized by stable acidity. Therefore, the food can have oil or fat in it. Whether it's fried fish, pasta with olive oil, or a lard sandwich of Mangalitza pig with onions - everything fits!"

Going your own way

8gb: Was it always natural for you to produce natural wine, or how did it come about?

Says Franz, "After I finished my viticultural training in 1999 and my internships, I realized that there were some things wrong with the conventional system."

Healthy vineyard, natural wine

Franz: "Especially the stalk paralysis (a disorder of the cell structure of the grape stems) and the realization that science doesn't know everything made me curious and showed me other ways. When we started in 2000, the term natural wine and the natural wine movement did not exist in that form. We called it non-intervention wines back then. Even though we were already working without additives (except sulfur) in the cellar at that time, the openness of consumers was not there yet. So between 2000 and 2015, we had to dispose of interesting wines as vinegar wines, because they did not correspond to the spirit of the times. When I think of these wines today, it hurts my heart, but it also makes me happy that consumers are also looking for the truth in wine again and drinking individual, unique, maybe a little crazy wines with pleasure."

8gb: What is one of the biggest life lessons you've learned so far since making your own wines?

Franz: "Time heals all wounds."

8gb: Can you remember your first experience with natural wine?

Franz: "In 1997, my father came back from a wine trip in Alsace, had brought some wines from Pierre Frick and told me about biodynamics. At that time I was not so far along and did not understand the wine. When my father poured me the same wine blind five years later, I was so excited and said it was the best wine I had ever drunk. That taught me: you also have to have the openness yourself to want to understand others."

A Tribute

8gb: The Ponzichter is a kind of homage to days gone by, when something like permaculture was cultivated in the vineyard by necessity, and today you also are very busy cultivating your land regeneratively.

8gb: What are your current plans (for using the land between the vines)?

Franz: "Our sheep in the vineyard are beautiful and bring liveliness, but they are not economically sustainable. The same is true of many crops between the rows of vines. The fact that labor is extremely highly taxed in our country makes it almost impossible economically to achieve multiple use of a vineyard. But we are not giving up, although even our last attempts with chickens were infiltrated by a fox, we will continue to consider it. Right now we have vineyards planted with fruit trees, and greenery (natural and planted) between the rows and under the canes."

8gb: Are there any role models in the region or abroad that particularly inspire you?

Franz: "On our trip to Ecuador, we met a farmer who managed agriculture on three levels (ground level, medium high and high) on one plot. He even created a forest to store water above his plot. It was extremely inspiring to see agriculture where mechanization is the exception and thus work can be done very differently."

8gb: What is the most beautiful thing for you in the whole winemaking process?

Franz: "The Kobersdorf beer with the team after a long day of harvesting. And of course the freedom to be able to realize ideas."

8gb: What can we expect from you in the future?

Less wine 😉, more relaxed.

8gb: Finally, will you tell us your 5 favorite 8greenbottles wines?

Yeah, of course! My favorites are the following...

Thank you for the time and the exciting insights. And of course to your health, or Egészségedre - as they say in Hungary!

Did you like our interview with Franz Weninger? If you want to learn more about our winemakers, you can find an overview of the 8gb winemaker family here!

Write Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *.