We met Hannes during our second trip to the Styria region of Austria, which is one of the most unique Sauvignon Blanc producing regions in the world. When you visit this region you are overwhelmed by the steep hills and the views. At the top of one of those hills sits Hannes, the winemaker and owner of the vineyards that have been in the family for generations, and his vineyards quietly growing some incredible Sauvignon grapes. Styria is a tough region because it is often struck by hail storms and the weather makes it very difficult to farm organically. Although Hannes, for all intents and purposes, farms organically he does not want to become certified. There is a group of 10 iconic wineries in this region, STK, best known for their Sauvignon Blanc. Hannes Sabathi is a proud member, and one of the few practicing organic winemaking.
Philosophy: Hannes strives to produce a very traditional Sauvignon Blanc and uses a native yeast fermentation technique he picked up in Germany. In order to use native yeasts throughout the winemaking process he takes the first few grapes from the harvest, crushes them in a temperature controlled pot and puts the juice in the vineyard to start fermenting. He is then able to take the fermenting pot of juice into the winery and use it to help inoculate and control the fermentation of all the juice at a much larger scale in the winery. For the Klassic wines aging takes place in inox and for the reserves in oak. The wine is filtered through a fountain system of natural rocks so the little yeast or grape particles get trapped in the rocks as the wine flows through. The results are some of the best Sauvignon Blanc wines we have ever tasted. They appeal to every Sauvignon Blanc flavor profile; the aromatic intensity of New Zealand, the structure of France, and the ripeness of Napa. Just perfectly balanced, these are great wines to introduce in the on-premise market.
Vineyard Size30 hectares
Total Winery Production12,500 cases