I’ve never, alas, tasted an Araujo Estate Cabernet Sauvignon grown in the Eisele Vineyard, Napa Valley. My newly bought enthusiasm for fantastic Napa Cabernet, though, suggests that I’d like it a lot.
What was ‘the undisclosed sum’ paid by the Pinault family in late July to bring Araujo into the Latour stable? No one knows quite which two digits preceded the million dollar abbreviation. (Or were there, even, three?) The colossal difference in land values, though, between Napa Cabernet vineyard and those of Coonawarra, Margaret River, or indeed any additional location in the ‘New World’, is remarkable, and
See also: Richest French wine chateau owners revealed
Let me tell you about a very different vineyard transition. You’ll never have heard of the peddler or the vineyard, and may not have ever heard of the buyer, either. The sum involved was insignificant. Why am I bothering you with it? More before long.
On the afternoon of June 25th, I stood with a Wachau winegrower called Peter Veyder-Malberg. We looked across to a terraced vineyard on a slope a link of hillsides away called Brandstatt. It’s photographed above.
Veyder-Malberg is an incomer to the Wachau, a former Vienna advertising executive who quit, learned winemaking at Pine Ridge, Villa Maria, Esk Valley and Franz Keller then, after working as general manager for Graf Hardegg in the Wienviertel, bought a few morsels of terraced vineyard for himself.
Why terraces? “My thought was to farm land where tractors have never driven. We’re in the north. It rains. Tractors do a huge amount
He pointed across to Brandstatt: a steep hill whose terraces were half-abandoned. “I bought that vineyard in 2009 from an ancient lady in her eighties. She was called Margarete Siebenhandl – a tiny lady, very slender, with a very precise voice. She was unmarried. She’d tended those vineyards all her life. She used to come up here each day. You see that hut?” A small black lean-to crouched at the bottom of the vineyard. The slope meant it was sited at a
Veyder-Malberg reclaims four terraces of Brandstatt each second year: he hasn’t got the funds or the time for more than that, but he
“I felt very sorry for her when I heard her tale. Before long I called back and talked to her sister. I questioned if I could show Margarete what I was doing. ‘No,’ she said; ‘she’s in bed and doesn’t get up any more now. But anyway I told her,’ the sister went on. ‘When she heard that her Brandstatt was going to be replanted, she cried.’”
For some wits, I haven’t been able to forget tiny, aged Margarete Siebenhandl, who walked herself up the steep hill ever day of her working life to look after her vines, who lived on the modest sums her grapes brought her at the co-op each year, and who felt,
The post Jefford on Monday: Up The Steep Hill appeared first on Decanter.
We were also found by phrases: