The Pichler family has been making wine in the village of Wösendorf since at least the late 19th century. The original cellar building, more of a small stall than a winery, was purchased in 1884 and their first vineyards were planted in the town of Wosendorf in 1904. The modern winery was built in 2004 near Rudi´s private home. After some initial wanderlust and the pursuit of various other interests – academic and commercial – Rudolf Pichler IV returned to the family winery with a seed of an idea. He had no formal training other than his memories of his grandfather and his instincts for great wine.
Location of Vineyard
The particular bends in the Upper Section of the Danube river as it flows east from the Melk to the City of Krems, form the 1,350 hectares of the Wachau (VOCK-aw) Valley. The steep hillsides that hug the river were formed of ancient Gföhler Gneiss, a particular primary rock, as well as granite and some slate deposits. It is this particular variety of soil and steep exposure that combine with the unique microclimate of this area to produce the distinct wines of the Wachau.
Pichler’s vineyard holdings are primarily in the western end of the Wachau, where the cool mountain breezes underscore the minerality and structure in the wines. Working from old vines on primary rock soils, it is the aim of the Pichler estate to reflect these vineyard very clearly in the glass.
The intensity of work in the vineyards is the foundation of Pichler’s philosophy, to the point where he even insists on replacing the term of winemaker by wine-caretaker, as his wine is not MADE in the cellar. As Rudi explains, “ Authentic wine is not created in the cellar, but born in the vineyard, gently educated in the cellar and then grown up in the bottle.” In other words, it is practical and cautious for him, a protection of his livelihood and estate – because the vineyard, “der Ried” the place, can never be made somewhere else and given another name: Wösendorfer Kollmütz is Wösendorfer Kollmütz, full stop. That is the standard by which he works and the essence of a Pichler wine.