Weingut Erwin Sabathi is based in Südsteiermark in southern Austria. Erwin Sabathi Jnr, alongside his wife Patrizia, is the 10th generation of Sabathis to run the farm, with family records dating back to 1650.
In the 1950s, Johann Sabathi recognised the potential of the Pössnitzberg vineyard and acquired the first core parcels of vines. This led to some of the finest wines from 50-year-old Sauvignon Blanc vines.
When Erwin Sabathi Sr. took over in 1968, they began to collect a wine library of single vineyard Pössnitzberg Sauvignon Blanc whilst enlarging the winery and vineyards.
Today’s custodians keep those family traditions and run the winery together
Erwin Sabathi Jnr is in charge of viticulture, winegrowing and the cellar. His wife, Patrizia, is responsible for product management, marketing, sales and international clients. Younger brothers, Gerd and Christoph Sabathi, as well as Gerd’s wife Mariana oversee vital functions in the vineyards, winery, and the office.
The family base their philosophy on “Origin”
They believe that the origin of terroir is the birth of great wines in the vineyards. The origin of nature requires us all to work in harmony with the natural world. The origin of the single vineyards leads the family to express the uniqueness of their sites. The system of origin sees them proudly producing their wines as part of Südsteiermark DAC.
All vineyards are certified organic
The family rely on solely nature-friendly treatments in the vineyards and natural processes during vinification, adhering to the belief that organic viticulture is an essential measure to increase the biodiversity of the ecosystem in the vineyards. Mowing and mulching are done in the most natural way possible, by a team of Krainer Steinschaf sheep, an old farm breed traditionally used as dairy sheep. Marcello and the rest of the team of sheep are usually found busily mowing and mulching the steep slopes.
All grapes harvested by hand
The grape harvest is the most important and critical time of the wine year. Only by a very careful manual selection, the pickers can deliver the ripe, undamaged and high-quality grapes into the cellar. Hand harvesting is also the only practical option on their extremely steep vineyards, with gradients up to 75%!
The term “Riede” is a single vineyard or location with similar terroir, allowing various grape varieties to demonstrate similar characteristics. The family produce single vineyard expressions from each of their 5 prime sites; the iconic and steep Pössnitzberg, the chalky Krepskogel, the sandy Poharnig, the consistent Jägerberg, and the monopole Saffran.
All wines are exclusively fermented with natural yeasts
The natural yeasts, living in natural surroundings, are optimally adapted to the respective conditions. The yeast population naturally occurring in a winery is composed of different strains. Each yeast strain is essential in the fermentation process. This natural interaction creates the complexity in each of the wines.
The winery itself is famed in the local region. The award-winning and stylish cellar was designed according to the principle of “short distances” with all processes clearly structured and route-optimised. This includes from the delivery of the grapes to processing in the press house, then onto fermentation and maturing in the tank and barrel rooms, and finally onto bottling and storage.