Martin Arndorfer comes from a long line of wine makers, growing up in the vineyards and cellar of his parents' estate. Anna Steininger is the daughter of one of the top and most respected wine makers in Austria, Karl Steininger (http://www.weingut-steininger.at/), quite simply, they are a match made in ‘wine’ heaven. Both born with a natural, and it seems in that region, almost genetic understanding and love of the Riesling and Gruner Veltliner grapes.

Martin truly fell in love with winemaking at the tender age of 12, but even before tried to play sick from kindergarten because he preferred to stay in the vineyards with his mother, and on the tractor with dad. Anna was basically ‘born in the cellar’ and has been helping with the wine making since the time she could walk.

After attending a winemaking school that has been teaching future winemakers since 1860, Martin headed off to Italy to get some practical training (and thought he might eat quite well while there as well). Martin still lends much of his inspiration to two Italian producers; Ronco del Gnemiz run by Serena Palazzolo where he experienced his first full bodied whites matured in small oak barrels, and Fabrizio Iuli (yes the same Fabrizio Iuli that was my inspiration to start Indie Wineries). With Fabrizio he learned how to make, “complex and straightforward red wines of outstanding quality”. These two wineries sparked his interest in thrilling red wines and his passion for barriques. He said in both cases, he has also found friends for a lifetime. Thanks to Anna’s gentle persuasion he then attended the University of Austria and graduated with a degree in “International Wine Management.” He is currently studying for his master degree in the same major.

When Martin returned from Italy, he and Anna moved in together, and not only did they unite their living spaces, but also their love, ideas, passion and knowledge for winemaking starting their own label, ‘Arndorfer’. The M & A on the bottle stand for, yes you guessed, Martin and Anna.

In Martin’s words;
“Organic or biodynamic is a big topic. I think too big. It is really important to work sustainable, but at the end the wine should give the answer. We produce wine with pleasure and for pleasure. It is very important to think about all the details, because it makes a difference. Wine should be tasty and for enjoyment. It is very good when people discuss wine, but they should not forget to enjoy (it).”

“The most important decision at the beginning is, if you want to create commercial wines or special, outstanding wines. I got the answer when I was in Italy and therefore if you remember the places where I have been there is just one possibility. I think sometimes wine is more than just wine. In this case the very interesting thing is to understand your area, how the soils and the grapes work. Therefore the experience from my father and grandfather are very interesting to hear. When I started to see the soil, the vines and vineyards in a sensible way I got a feeling and also emotions when I walk through or when I work with the vines. In my point of view this is the most important part: understand your vineyard. The difficult thing is that the weather changes the language every year, but if I understand its soul I can work with the vineyard year after year.”

HARD FACTS
WINE NAME: Rosé
PRODUCER: Arndorfer
VINTAGE: 2012
APPELLATION: Niederosterreich
GRAPE VARIETIES: 100% Zweigelt & 5% Gr. Veltliner skins
FERMENTATION TANKS: Stainless steel
YEASTS: Partially selected and partially native
MACERATION: 8 days on the skins
MALOLACTIC: Partly
AGED IN: 80 % stainless steel, 20% barrique 5th filling
AGED FOR: 6 months
CLARIFICATION/FILTRATION: Smart Filtered Once
ALCOHOL CONTENT: 12.5 % vol.
TOTAL PRODUCTION: 1,600 bottles
ALTITUDE: 240 m
SOIL: Loess and gravel
YEAR PLANTED: Zweigelt 2002, Grüner Veltliner 1992
DENSITY: 5,000 and 4,000 vines/hectare
YIELD: 1,5-2,5 kg per vine