German lobby photos from the 1993 movie Sister Act 2

Sister Act 2: Strehn, Wiederstein & Ambrositsch


Wrapping up Women's History Month, we're showcasing wines from The Other Austria; Don't be Blah! regions Mittelburgenland & Carnuntum. From the former we will be showcasing the wines of the Strehn family run by daughter Pia and mother Monika. From the latter region, we will be offering wines from Birgit Wiederstein (unfortunately, the spirits that her mother Grete distills aren't available here). And lastly, a little thing called Gemischter Satz, Vienna's own traditional field blend white wine, from Jutta Ambrositsch.

Mittelburgenland in dark green below Hungary

Mittleburgenland is south of Hungary's outcropping finger of Sopron that separates the north of Burgenland from the middle. As seen on the map, the vineyards lie along the northern border with Hungary. There, the soils are  gneiss and mica schist that make up the Sopron Hills, covered with  gravel, loam, Leitha limestone and brown forest floor. Due to these soils, Mittleburgenland is known as Blaufrankischland producing wines of great minerality, structure and concentration. It also does wonders for Zweigelt, Austria's most planted red grape as well as outliers like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

Pia Strehn holding up one of her many rose wines

The Strehns specialize in all things rose & some red, still and sparkling, from Blaufrankish with some Zweigelt and Cabernet Sauvignon. “As a child, wine meant stress for me because the whole family actually had to work around the clock,” says Pia, who is the fourth generation to run the 53-hectare winery. Thanks to the focus on rosé, Strehn's creations are now sold in gourmet restaurants from London to New York. The last time we did a Strehn offering, we showcased the now calling card rose and a vintage Blaufrankisch reserve. Today we will be showcasing their terrific Zweigelt as well as the new Sparkling rose, perfect for spring, if it ever gets here! We will offer her rose later in the season.

Moving northward into the Leithaberg DAC of Burgenland, we cross over into Carnuntum, directly east of Thermenregion and southeast of Vienna. It's northern border is the Danube river and it's teeny eastern border is with Slovakia whilst the entire southern border is flanked by northern Burgenland.

Carnuntum bordered by the Danube to the north
Grete and Birgit Wiederstein

Birgit's vines and 280 year-old cellar are in Göttlesbrunn, the center of the Carnuntum wine region. This appellation, taken from the eponymous Roman city that was located only a few kilometres from present day Göttlesbrunn, sits only a few kilometres from Leithaberg and the more famous region of Neusiedlersee. The soil here is predominantly limestone/clay, like Burgundy, giving it a boost of recognition. Converting to organics in 2014 and then biodynamics in 2018, Birgit wines are 60 % reds and 40% whites, including some older native Austro-Hungarian varietals such as Harslevelu. She foot stomps some of the reds, hence her very large foot size is listed on her website. We're showcasing her Anna Blume Harslevelu, named after her favorite dadaist poem, and her new rose cuve called Rosey "made my day".

Jutta in her vineyards high up above Vienna
Vienna with Nussberg on top left of the Danube

Continuing northwest to the outskirts of Vienna proper, we arrive at the hilly birthplace of Gemischter Satz, Vienna's traditional white field blend. Fun fact: Vienna has the most vineyards planted of any city in the world: today, there are fifty growers managing 650 total hectares (of those fifty, only twenty are full-time winemakers, earning their living from the wine they make). The vineyards are on hillsides at the city limits, on either side of the Danube over-looking the city center. Jutta enjoys views of Vienna while farming vines planted on the hills of the western edge of the Vienna Fissure, a geological formation. Despite not working under certification, she has been working organically for now more than a decade after leaving a career as an art director (her labels are her "oeuvre"). Together with husband Marco as well as Fox Terrier 'Edgar’, Jutta today runs a total of four hectares including the well- known Viennese Crus like Rosengartel within the renowned Nussberg appellation. Besides making wine, Jutta and Marco run one of Vienna's most popular 'pop-up' Buschenschank (Viennese traditional wine tavern) where they serve their own wine alongside snacks and delicious delicatessen from closely related friends and artisans in the area. We are offering her Ringelspiel (Ringtoss) cuvee hailing from her oldest vines. PROST! GISELLE HAMBURG        ALL WINES ARE IN STOCK AND AVAILABLE FOR PICK UP/ SHIPPING


Strehn 2018 Mittelburgenland Zweigelt

Fermented in stainless steel and aged in stainless steel and old Austrian foudre. The wine is deeply purple with juicy plums, blueberries and hints of black pepper and earthiness. Its fruitiness complements poultry, game and tomato-based sauces, barbecue and spicy foods. GH

  • red
  • 30 in stock
  • $17.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Strehn NV Mittelburgenland Rosé Extra Brut

This current cuvee is 50% Zweigelt, 25% Blaufränkisch, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged for 6 mos on the lees with an extra brut dosage of 5grams.  Very dry, mineral with ripe red and black fruit.

  • rosé sparkling
  • 9 in stock
  • no discount
  • $23.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Winzerin Wiederstein 2022 Carnuntum Harslevelu 'Ana Blume'

Birgit Wiederstein is a female run winery/distillery in Carnuntum half an hour east of Vienna south of  the Danube. Apparently, like Burgenland when it was part of the Austro Hungarian empire, Harslevelu was widely planted there as well. Harslevelu is one of the major white grapes used in Hungarian Tokaji dessert wines. It also makes lovely still whites with delicate notes of linden, pear and citrus. The old Austrian name is Lindenblattriger which means "Linden Leaf". Birgit is committed to reviving ancient grape varieties from the region and foot stomps some of her grapes as well. The wine is named after her favorite poem by Dadaist Kurt Schwitters! Giselle Hamburg

  • white
  • 9 in stock
  • $24.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Winzerin Wiederstein 2022 Carnuntum Rosey

A juicy blend of 50% Zweigelt, 30%Pinot Noir, & 20% Blaufrankisch, salmon hued. Long maceration on the skins, cool fermentation and ageing on the lees in tank until bottling. Punchy notes of wild strawberry, bitter melon, citrus and wet stones with bracing acidity, a surprisingly savoury finish and a faint prickle. "Made my day" indeed! GH

  • rosé
  • 28 in stock
  • $16.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Ambrositsch, Jutta 2020 Wiener Gemischter Satz Ringelspiel

From a single vineyard on the east side of the Danube within Vienna's city limits, Ringelspiel is a field blend of Jutta's oldest vines. They are so old that they do not know what all the varieties are, what they do know is as follows: Kahlenberger Weisse , Rosenmuskateller,  Gutedel (aka Chasselas),  Neuburger, Riesling,  Welschriesling,  Grüner Veltliner,  Roter Veltliner,  Grauburgunder  and  Gelber Traminer! As per the distributor: "   vibrant acids pops on the palate, expressing more bright and fresh lemon. Overall, there is spectacular tension and weight for a wine that dials in at a mere 11.5% ABV." Extremely complex and lively !

  • white
  • 2 in stock
  • $30.99

  • Organic