birgit and katrin pfneisl
Birgit is responsible for the vineyards and winemaking, Katrin marketing and sales. Born and raised in Austria, their grandparents fled their vineyards in Sopron to escape Communism and settled just across the border in Kleinmutschen, Burgenland, where the “z” was dropped from their surname. In 1993, the Pfneisl family re-acquired their Hungarian vineyards. Having since established Weingut Pfneisl, one of Austria’s premier red wine estates, Birgit and Katrin’s father Franz Pfneisl and his brothers, decided to give these ancestral vineyards to the sisters.
After completing her University studies, Birgit set out to work far away from home. She made wine in Italy, Australia, New Zealand, South America and the US before returning home with dreams of an organic estate. Starting with the inaugural 2004 vintage, the Pfneiszl vineyards were farmed organically, in 2009 they were certified Organic.
Birgit employs a wide range of organic techniques ranging from standard practices like native crop cover to less conventional methods like insect pheromones. Birgit’s decision to pursue organic farming was at first controversial. Idealistic in nature, organic farming in reality is challenging and risky. So far, Birgit’s idealism and intuition are paying off.
Grapes are sorted and de-stemmed at the winery. Fermentation is conducted exclusively with native yeast. The Classic line of wines are fermented and aged in stainless steel while premium wines are aged in a combination of new and used oak, mostly of Hungarian or French stock. Malolactic fermentation is encouraged to finish though not demanded and small amounts of residual sugar are permitted if a wine does not ferment completely dry.
The young and charming Birgit and Katrin Pfneisl, the sisters running the Pfneiszl Winery, are the ones responsible for the equally charming Pfneiszl Zwëigler.