"Big Players - The family winery has been one of Austria's flagships for quite a few years." Vinum, 2019
Weingut Pfaffl - The story of a young family business
The success story of one of Austria's best-known wineries begins with the farm of Roman Pfaffl's grandparents or parents, who were mainly devoted to agriculture. In 1978, Roman Pfaffl took over the 23 hectares of agricultural land and 0.7 hectares of vineyards from his parents, and from then on concentrated on viticulture. Piece by piece Roman expanded the business. He sold his wine in a small Buschenschank, a local beverage bar, in his hometown Stetten. In addition, the wine tavern "Laterndl Pfaffl" was opened in Korneuburg. In 1983, Roman Pfaffl bottled quality wine for the first time, in so-called bouteilles. From 1984 onwards, he expanded his vineyards to various vineyards. He was also responsible for the Weinviertel becoming Austria's first DAC region. In the 80s, the Pfaffl winery became known for its peppery and spicy Grüner Veltliner. Due to the particularly aromatic character of the Pfaffl Veltliner, people soon spoke of a "Pfafferl-Pfefferl", and in wine circles Roman Pfaffl was soon given the title "Mr. Veltliner". Since then, the wines have been regularly honored with awards.
From the original 0.7 hectares of vineyards, Roman and Adelheid Pfaffl had already made 5.2 hectares by 1989, expanded by an additional 7 hectares of vineyards in Münichsthal. Here they completely cleared the land after the purchase and planted new vines.
From 1991 Roman Pfaffl also sold his wines abroad, and in 1992 a new press house and a new storage cellar were built. New technology was also purchased, including temperature-controlled tanks, pneumatic presses, vinification machines and a free-fall wine press.
In 1996, 18 years after Roman Pfaffl took over his parents' farm and converted it into a winery, he was named Winemaker of the Year by the renowned Austrian wine magazine Falstaff. This was by far not to be the last award.
After the business had already grown to a proud 30 hectares in 2000, the Heuriger was closed and Roman Pfaffl concentrated on viticulture from then on. For example, Pfaffl took over the Schlossweingut Bockfließ with its 10 hectares of vineyards, the cellar was expanded in 2002, the old building block was fundamentally rebuilt in 2003, so that the winery was completely modernized to a large extent. Later, the barrique warehouse and the machine hall were built, and the press house was enlarged.
In 2004, Roman and Adelheid Pfaffl were already cultivating 53 hectares of vines, and they also took over 5 hectares in Vienna-Stammersdorf. In 2008, the new press with inert gas system was put into operation, which makes pressing under oxygen exclusion possible.
Generation change at the Pfaffl Winery
In 2011, Roman Josef and Heidemarie Pfaffl, the children of Roman and Adelheid Pfaffl, took over the Pfaffl Winery from their parents, with whom they still run it today. As early as in 2012, they put another white wine cellar into operation. The export of the wines has been expanded more and more, and in 2016, the renowned US wine magazine Wine Enthusiast even awarded the Pfaffl wine estate with the "European Winery of the Year".
Pfaffl Winery and its wines
The vineyard area of the Pfaffl Winery currently amounts to a full 110 hectares, spread over various sites and 10 different villages around the home town of Stetten. About 70 percent of the area are planted with white wine varieties. Due to the wide distribution of the vineyards, Pfaffl has to deal with very different soils and microclimates, which results in very different grape varieties and wines being vinified.
Due to the distribution of sites and vineyards, Pfaffl wines grow on very different soils. Chardonnay, for example, thrives particularly well on sandy soil with a thin layer of loess. Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon enjoy stony, poor and mineral soil. Grüner Veltliner , Pinot Blanc, Zweigelt and Pinot Noir grow on the Herrenholz and Praschen sites in Vienna.
Pfaffl 's vineyards are cultivated according to the principles of sustainability, which has now been officially certified as "Sustainable Austria". Various wildflowers grow between the vines as pasture for beneficial insects and to revitalize the soil. Only every second row of vines is mowed, always alternately, so that there is always enough flowering food source.
In June, the shoots are knitted into the wire frame system and weaker shoots are weeded away to create an airy wall of foliage.
Some of the grapes are not harvested until mid-November. As a result, the wines are particularly highly concentrated and have a very special character.
The grape varieties
The Pfaffl vineyard grows a wide variety of grape varieties. Among them are the white varieties
- Grüner Veltliner
- Pinot Blanc
And on about 30 percent of the vineyards red varieties are cultivated:
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Pinot Noir
- St. Laurent
If you want to list the top wines of the Pfaffl Winery, you don't know where to start and where to stop. To name just a few, you can't get past the Paradeveltliner Hundsleiten. The vines here are over 35 years old and the yield is greatly reduced, the wine is correspondingly aromatic and full of flavour, the nose is beguiled with fruity and peppery-spicy aromas. The Grüner Veltliner Goldjoch and the Hommage should also be mentioned here.
Among the red wines, one can hardly get around the oak barrel-aged St. Laurent Reserve Altenberg, which enjoys an excellent reputation beyond Austria's borders. The Excellent Reserve and the Topcuvée Heidrom have also won numerous awards, as have many other Pfaffl wines.
Pfaffl - An excellent winery
If one wanted to list all the awards that the Pfaffl Winery and the Pfaffl wines have received over the years, one would soon have to publish a magazine of their own. A few selected awards of the last years are listed below:
- 2021/22 - falstaff 4-Star-Winemaker
- 2021 - SELECTION International Winery of the Year
- 2021 - Sustainable Austria Certified
- 2021 - MUNDUS VINI Best Producer Austria
- 2021 - FRANKFURT INTERNATIONAL TROPHY Best Producer Austria
- 2020 - SELECTION Austrian Winery of the Year
- 2020 - PRAGUE WINE TROPHY Best Winery
- 2020 - MUNDUS VINI Best Producer Austria
- 2019 - SELECTION Austrian Winery of the Year
Photos with kind permission © "Weingut R&A Pfaffl"
More information about Weingut Pfaffl
|Company Name:||Winery R&A Pfaffl GmbH & Co KG|
|Contact & Web|
|Year of Incorporation:||1903|
|Company Owner:||Roman & Adelheid Pfaffl|
|Managing Director:||Roman Josef Pfaffl, Heidemarie Fischer|
|Oenologist:||Roman Josef Pfaffl|
|Cellarmaster:||Roman Josef Pfaffl|
|Vineyard Area:||110 ha|
|Cultivated Vineyards:||Zeiseneck, Haidviertel, Hundsleiten, Goldjoch|
|Agricultural Methods, Cultivation:||sustainable|