Maria und Sepp Muster
Soil Soil Soil!
Blessed with an amazing location and rich soil, Maria and Sepp Muster are proud to produce fresh, complex, aromatic, mineral, wines in Styria. For generations neither herbicides nor pesticides were used in the vineyards but they went an extra mile and decided to go biodynamic. Understanding the vines and letting nature do its course require patience and gentleness to make great natural wine.
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Natural Wine pioneers
Sepp and Maria Muster’s vineyard is located in the South of Styria county, Austria. The couple took over Sepp’s parents’ vineyard in 2000. The vines had never been treated with any chemicals before either, so they quickly gained the Demeter certification in 2003.
“More and more of less and less.”
The Muster wines are easy to spot: there are orange and warm earthy colors on the labels. They’re credited to the family’s late friend, Beppo Pliem, an Austrian painter. He found his answers in the horizon and in the reduction to the essentials – which world view is also depicted both on the Muster labels, as well as in Sepp’s high-end natural wines.
“The earth, the sky and in between: wine.”
Muster is following biodynamic agricultural principles. Like for many of his fellow natural winemakers, understanding and trust in nature is key. Aiming to keep the harmony of the soil, plants, and animals.
“The earth is the land of our ancestors and the field of our experience.”
The vineyards surround the winery – almost allegorically – in all four directions.
The mostly clay and calcareous soil is often referred to as “Opok” in this Styrian region. The summers are warm, and the winters moderately cold. Summer nights’ cold winds ensure ripe grapes and late harvest. The Muster vineyards have typically steep slopes which makes the hand harvest hard – but they still stick to it! These conditions cultivate characterful and complex wines. This type of viticulture has lots of freedom but it’s also quite unpredictable. The good thing is that it brings change and that’s vital in making natural wine!
Patience and tolerance
applies to the work done both out on the vineyard as well as in the cellar. The Muster wines are made with spontaneous fermentation, no fining or filtration. They’re aged in barrels and the low intervention lasts until the desired result is achieved.
We have the whole line from Sepp Muster: the Opoks, Graf and Gräfin, the red, rosé and the Erde.
Graf actually refers to the Muster farm’s name. The old Morillon (refers to Chardonnay in Styria) and Sauvignon Blanc grow on Opok soil. The red line interprets cool elegance. The climate change has in fact benefited these vines: the Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch and Blauer Wildbacher grapes are delicate, light and complex. The Muster orange wines are strong and aromatic with accentual minerality.