Meinklang’s embrace of machine harvesting is a watershed moment - for the monumental Burgenland biodynamic estate, and perhaps for natural wine at large.
I have been drinking Meinklang wines for quite a while. They are, in Europe at least, a good value and I like that the ABVs are usually around 11,5%, which is more refreshing. I enjoyed tasting about a dozen of their wines at a consumer tasting this past weekend in Oslo. It is really the first time I noticed that there was an uptick in the VA levels in a number of the wines, which I had never noticed to this extent. Wonder if that might have something to do with machine harvesting? Possibly they are just using less SO2 in more of their wines. Not really sure. But thanks for the article.
I’d like to give Michlits the benefit of the doubt, but on their face his comments about “foreigners” are offensive. Perhaps these attitudes towards large groups of fellow humans are more common on the border of eastern Europe but they are still offensive. Can’t be taught how to pick grapes properly? We’d rather work with a machine? Imagine if some “natural” French or California producer said these same things about “foreign” migrant pickers. The idea that machine harvesting could be in any way superior to manual harvesting is laughable. Michlits just wants to muddy the waters regarding the obvious impetus to go mechanical. It’s a shame the community isn’t more clear-headed and united on this issue. As far as it goes with Meinklang, the phrase “too big to fail” comes to mind. Great article as always. Your interview was a model of journalistic restraint.
this is one of my favourite articles you’ve written, thanks for the reporting and investigation. one would hope that natural wine doesn’t become a race to the bottom. probably the idea will be coöpted like the previous. this is why consortiums and people that you trust help choose which wine I purchase in the end. Triple “A” for e.g. Vendemmia a mano has much more significance for me now. Thanks
In a nutshell , it's not that nuanced , As farms too big for hand harvesting and keep retail price low , in an increasing economically difficult time , they have decide to cheat a little or certainly push the boundaries.
He's blaming immigrants for this as to justify his decision to use machines.
Tells you everything you need to know..If they are willing to do this , then they are willing to do anything.
This makes me think much differently about Meinklang's wines--and clearly others feel the same.
I am very interested in what the other Burglandian wineries think about this--as well as other Austrian regions, and, yes, natural wine folks at large.