The Wine: Himmel auf Erden Red 2019
Christian Tschida Himmel auf Erden Red 2019 is a red natural wine made from 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Zweigelt sustainably farmed grapes grown in the Neusiedler See part of Burgenland, Austria. The grapes are hand-harvested, destemmed, and crushed by foot. The juice ferments in large barrels with indigenous yeast and no racking. It ages for one year in 500 to 1500-liter barrels and is bottled without fining or filtering and no addition of sulfur. Serving temperature: 60 F.
The Producer: Christian Tschida
Christian Tschida has the great fortune to cultivate 14 hectares of old vines, some of which have been with his family for 4 generations, since the 19th century. The winery is located in the Neusiedler See part of Burgenland, the easternmost point of Austria, more traditionally known for red and sweet wine production. The vineyards consist of sandy gravel, schist, and limestone, which all enjoy a moderating influence from the extremely large and nearby Lake Neusiedler. Christian takes a hands-off approach to winemaking, where the wines spend a great deal of time in barrel in contact with oxygen, some for as many as 5 years before bottling. He says the key to all his wines is the vertical basket press he uses. This tool is like a modern re-imagining of an old manual screw press. Christian says he uses very light pressure when he presses, comparable to the amount of pressure a handshake would exert. By doing this he extracts only the best juice from the grapes. He then returns the must and remaining juice to the vines, in a special preparation he makes to aid the health of the vineyard.
Christian ferments all of his wines in closed top tanks that sit outside in the shade, in which the grapes are foot stomped. After which the juice is moved inside to barrel for aging. As of the 2015 vintage, all of Christian’s wines are made without any additions of sulfur. The wines are never racked, and everything is bottled by hand to preserve the freshness of the wine and leave a little residual carbon dioxide to aid preservation. (source: Jenny & Francois)
The Region: Neusiedlersee - Austria