Rudi Pichler is among the elite growers of the Wachau producing wines of precision, power, and longevity. Grüner Veltliner and Riesling make up 95% of the production with the remaining 5% shared between Weißburgunder and Roter Veltliner. Rudi Pichler belongs to the prestigious Vinea Wachau and vinifies under the strict parameters of their codex.
Yields are kept low between 30 and 35 hectoliters per hectare with botrytis carefully removed by hand. Grapes are crushed by foot and receive between three and 36 hours of maceration on the skins. Vinification is entirely in stainless-steel tanks and malolactic fermentation is avoided.
Kirchweg, or “church path,” gets its name from a former path to the nearby church of St. Michael. The vineyard faces southeast and rises gently towards the bottom of Hochrain. Rudi Pichler’s vines are planted near the foot of Hochrain where sedimentary soils provide excellent conditions for Riesling.
Wachau Riesling is dry and often defined by high levels of dry extract (due to a lengthy ripening period) and a pleasing freshness (due to dramatic temperature swings between day and night). Sedimentary soils of sand and stone give Kirchweg Riesling a dense mineral texture and fine fruity flavors.
Riesling’s high acidity makes it one of the most versatile wines at the table. Riesling can be used to cut the fattiness of foods such as pork or sausages and can tame a certain amount of saltiness. Conversely, it can highlight foods such as fish or vegetables in the same way a squeeze of lemon or a vinaigrette can.