Design a site like this with
Get started

Pulp Fiction Hospitality with Erich Machherndl

After a fascinating lunch at Hofmeisterei Hitzberger, one of the must-go restaurants of the region and one that I was grateful that Michelin does not rate, as it would definitely would earn one or two (along with those increased bookings). Its service is down to earth, efficient and with great attitude. The food is refined, yet retains that home feeling… a wine pairing is also recommendable as older vintages of established producers as FX Pichler are paired with some of the dishes. At the end let’s just say I was probably not in my freshest state, and little did I know what was about to come.

Venison beautifully paired with Malat St Laurent Reserve 2013

As you arrive to Erich Machherndl’s winery, you notice the peace within it. Nothing moves but the leaves of the plants that guide you, and the door wide opens invites you to explore. One of the perks of living in the countryside is that peace of mind that the cities just are not able to provide. After a few minutes of wandering around Erich came to receive us, you can notice his upbeat energy and positive attitude as you go into his tasting room. Also mind the tasting room also serves as his home, a fact that gives the guest a sense of warmness that lets you be at ease.

His wines are what we may consider low-intervention wines (infamously called natural wines), it is always a tricky subject in the wine world as there are varying philosophies. As you sit with Erich, he states that wines are for his taste, and this does not give arrogance to the philosophy but rather means that you will taste a unique point of view in the enormous wine world. His fidelity for the sense of place is also important, always speaking about varieties as if they were their children, with their own personalities and their flaws. He has had the ability to understand them know their flaws and accept them in order to produce a wine that will make you remember the wine’s name.

Having been producing wines for over 20 years, it became clear that his wines have been made from character from the beginning, as older vintages began to be poured like Jochinger Kollmitz Grüner Veltliner 1999 that had become an adult and was now showing its potential, structured and rich honeyed, slightly herbaceous flavors and great marzipan flavors but still with that bright acidity that characterize Wachau wines. It turned out increasingly difficult to follow the wines and the tasting notes, as Erich is of a very generous nature and driven by the passion of sharing the wines with those who appreciate. Throughout the tasting he was always eager to listen eagerly to our opinions, not that they would change his wines, but one thing you learn from him is his passion to be dynamic and not dogmatic.

His philosophy is also very approachable, with tasting notes always being open and relatable. An easy example would be his Pulp Fiction line, a wine with a cheeky word play that makes reference to the pulp in the grape and to the classic Quentin Tarantino movie. The wines are yelling with fruity freshness, pear abound, along with white flowers and lemon blossom, little else can be asked specially if drunk on a hot day.

The red wines follow his style of crispiness and freshness. Lighter color abound for the “rosés”, which to me they looked like elegant reds with a charming light ruby color, clearly acid driven but with bursts of dry strawberries and cherries which are gotten only from an 18 hour maceration. In another bold statement, it is his belief that Syrah is one of the perfect potential matches of the Wachau (a grape that along with the other red grapes of the bunch needs to be labeled under the regional Niederösterreich, decreasing its location identity, thus in customer’s mind: prestige) but, as usual, he proves his point and we got expressive wines that gave that pepperiness, bright violet and black fruits that we love so much from Syrah, and always these aromas reaching out of the glass!

What I most admired and truly made me believe in his wines is the how strong he believes in them, cares for them and is proud of them. I believe he has found a passion in life in which he will be able to leave behind a legacy of great wines for the rest of us to enjoy. As we age we get restless of what is it that is going to drive us or what are we going to leave behind, Erich has managed that his love for crafting wines that touches people hearts will become ethereal, and that is something that few of us will ever achieve.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: