In the fuzzily-defined world of "natural wine," Austrian superstar Christian Tschida has few, if any, peers. This is probably because his wines seem to transcend the genre, being almost too clean, pure, and precisely structured to compare to the "glou-glou" wines that dominate natural wine bar lists. In fact, Tschida's top wines are age-worthy and serious, with wonderfully fine tannins and crystalline clarity. So these are "classical" wines that belong at the dinner table (or in the cellar), yet they are typically only found in natural wine bars. Why? Because, paradoxically, these elegant and seemingly obsessively-made wines are the product of an extremely low-tech and low-intervention approach. This means no chemicals in the vineyards, of course, but the cellar work here is what's shockingly minimal: the grapes are foot-stomped (or crushed with a basket press), with the resulting juice put in large Stockinger barrels. That's it, really! No racking. No sulfur. Bottled by hand, which basically no one ever does, because it's insanely time-consuming. Tschida farms 11 ha of old vines located in Neusiedlersee, Burgenland. The climate is cool, with soils of gravel, schist and limestone, though Christian thinks the concept of "terroir" is boring. Whatever, man!
Earthy , Elegant , Minerally