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.
Achleithen, from “ach” meaning water path and “leiten” referring to the slope, is a terraced vineyard in Weißenkirchen sitting between 200 and 400 meters of elevation. Rudi Pichler’s parcel lies in the small section of Achleithen that faces west where weathered Gföler Gneiss dominates the upper terraces. Achleithen is one of the most famous vineyards in the Wachau and gives wines that are distinctly mineral.
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). Rudi Pichler’s Riesling Achleithen comes from steep, southwest-facing terraces of meager primary rock soils resulting in a dry white wine of great structure and strong mineral character.
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.