Gernot and Heike Heinrich founded their winery in 1990 with just one hectare and have steadily grown to 90 hectares today. Heinrich converted to biodynamics in 2006 and is a member of Respekt, a certifying body for biodynamic viticulture in Austria. Heinrich is today one of Austria’s most innovative wine producers.
All of Heinrich’s wines are fermented spontaneously and are often left with the skins for several weeks. The wines remain on their lees for an extended period and are vinified mainly in neutral oak casks. Gernot says, "we give the wines plenty of time to mature, the time that hardly anyone has today,” and adds, “it is above all else time that shapes our wines.”
St. Laurent is from two different areas near Lake Neusiedl: Heideboden, the humus-rich area on the east side of the Lake; and Rosenberg, an east-facing slope of the Leithaberg that is marked by mica-schist. The wine is aged for 25 months in wooden vats and used 500-liter oak barrels.
St. Laurent (pronounced “Zankt LAUER-ent”) is an Austrian specialty of disputed origin. Despite having similar characteristics to Pinot Noir, DNA testing has been unable to prove a connection. In any case, St. Laurent is often described as a more powerful version of Pinot Noir with medium body, floral aromatics, and flavors of cherries and herbs.
St. Laurent can be used at the table in the same way as Pinot Noir. The wine’s high acidity, medium body, medium alcohol, and low tannins make it very food-friendly. Its earthy and sometimes gamey character is an excellent partner to roasted game birds, grilled duck breast, and dishes that feature mushrooms, black truffles, or are rich in umami.