Wenzel | Furmint ‘Aus dem Quarz’
A crisp white wine with centuries of tradition
This wine is packed with history and deliciousness. Great acidity, super fresh, and kind of like a lighter Chenin Blanc with less fruitiness. Savory baked apple, quince, and a touch of lemon. The Wenzel family can be traced back 600 years to the town of Rust, Austria, on the border of Hungary. The village sits on a large shallow lake (so shallow you can walk through it) which helps keep the vineyards temperate. The town is a UNESCO World Heritage site, famous for a sweet wine called Tokaji, made with Furmint, the same grape used in this dry white wine.
Origin Rust, Austria
Great with umami rich foods like miso, sesame, and kombu (seaweed). Also try with Chinese, Korean, Burmese and Thai recipes that mingle hot, sour and sweet.
Michael Wenzel grew up in the vineyard making wine with his father and grandfather (their estate back dates to 1647!). Furmint was once the most widely planted white grape in Austria and Hungary until phylloxera and two world wars struck. Nearing extinction, the grape remained in existence as it found a home in Hungary’s renowned sweet wine, Tokaji. But dry Furmint has a cultural and historical role for both Austrians and Hungarians. In 1984 Michael’s father smuggled cuttings over the border into Austria and these plantings bore fruit that became the first dry Wenzel Furmint in 1987. After studying conventional winemaking, Michael helped make textbook, precise, tasty wine. Through his travels, it struck him that the most compelling wines were transparent, telling a story of place, soil, and time. He wanted to make wines that spoke of their origin. So, in 2008, encouraged by his wife Sonja to embrace change, he began, again. Embracing a natural approach, he says, “I call natural wine the product of pure, unadulterated fermented grape juice. Organic farming is simply the prerequisite.” He stopped using synthetic pesticides and focused entirely on native yeasts. “Natural yeasts are - and it took me a long time to realize this - the real winemakers. My responsibility as a winemaker is to respect nature.”