Quality standards

At Weingut Leo Hillinger, quality is inseparably connected to organic farming and the organic development of our wines.

At our estate, the principle applies, that all the way through to the harvest we must have taken all the necessary steps with all due conviction and the requisite care.

Extended maturation

One of our primary goals is to leave the cluster on the vine for as long as possible. The longer it is exposed to wind and weather, the longer the vine can accumulate nutrients, ripen and acquire the character of the vintage it will eventually reflect. With us, the wine is ‘made’ in the vineyard. When the cluster is separated from the cane, it is our job to care for – and above all to preserve – what we have harvested. Thus, the definition of what we call quality, begins with our methods of cultivation – already in the vineyards.

The perfect cut

Even when pruning our vines for the first time, we make sure that each plant is treated in an individual manner. This is a real challenge for us, with vineyards spread out over almost ninety hectares, as the trimming and individual treatment of our vines take considerably more time. Furthermore, it requires comprehensive knowledge and experience among those who perform the pruning. Without experience, it is not possible to prune a vine according to its individual needs, and establish the initial basis for harvesting what we consider to be high-quality grapes. Throughout the vegetation cycle, many hands have to do a great deal of work with great care, conviction and experience, until the grapes reach the point of maturity that we require as the basis for yielding ripe, convincing and ultimately honest wines. Most of the cycle involves the management and structuring of the foliage canopies. Every vine, every shoot, and sometimes even every leaf is set up, straightened, plucked or simply left alone. We also spend a lot of time deciding not whether, but when we should do things. Here, too, our commitment to organic viticulture demands much of us: in the first place, to do as little as possible and as much as necessary – that’s the motto here. So it is possible for us to give the grape its maximum time on the vine.

Time to develop

Work in the cellar is articulated by one guiding principle: allowing the grapes to become wine. We want to let development, with all its facets, take place in a natural manner. So that the wines can evolve as unmodified as possible. Whether in one of our 1,200 barriques, in large wooden cask or in a 30,000 litre stainless steel tank. Every wine should be given the opportunity to develop according to its own inclinations. To accomplish this, we often have to forget what we once learned, and to react to the circumstances at the right moment.

In a nutshell: winemaking at Hillinger is above all a team sport. Because only by working together can we achieve the best quality.