Meet the Maker: Johannes Zillinger #5

Meet the Maker: Johannes Zillinger #5

Wine Maker

Johannes Zillinger
Red Varietals
Rösler, Zweigelt, Cabernet, Syrah and St. Laurent
White Varietals
Chardonnay, Scheurebe, Riesling

Johannes Zillinger is a firm believer of organic living as a whole. His family has been mastering organic-biodynamic winemaking for the last 30 years in the idyllic Weinviertel in Lower Austria. Get familiar with the solera system, intracellular fermentation, amphora wines: terms and methods Johannes loves to experiment with. The result is naturally some incredible revolutionary wines.


He describes himself as one of the most radical among the radicals because he tries not only to apply the ideas of biodynamics, but to live them consistently. This also includes returning to earlier agricultural methods.

Johannes Zillinger is also a committed biodynamic scientist. His father was one of the very first to convert their winery to organic. That was more than 30 years ago, when the agrochemical companies were just experiencing their heyday. “I was ridiculed for it at school,” Zillinger recalls of his childhood. “We were considered the crazy eco-freaks.” Today he is grateful to own vineyards that have not been treated with herbicides and mineral fertilizers for decades. The floors are alive, the vines are healthy – for him the prerequisite for shutting down the technology in the cellar.


The Land

In 2012 Johannes took over his parent’s vineyard in Velm-Gotzendorf, in North-Eastern Austria, and decided to reposition it. About 30 years ago, his father, one of the pioneers of this movement in the Weinviertel area, converted to organic farming. For Johannes though organic is not enough. So he took it further and started the process for the entire vineyard and farm to be biodynamic.

Today the winemaker cultivates countless arable land, keeps livestock that are also used in viticulture, and owns a forest from which the wood for his own wine barrels comes from. The cultivation of the vineyards with his Noriker horses is a special affair of the heart for him. “I’m not nostalgic, but for the soil it is simply better to work with a horse than with a tractor,” says Gindl.

Johannes works with classic Austrian grape varieties like Zweigelt, St.Laurent and Gruner Veltliner alongside German varieties like Riesling and Welschriesling but also a few international ones like Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.


Winemaking Process

He learned winemaking from his father, as it is traditional in the Weinviertel, who again learned it from his father and so forth way back.

Johannes was also captivated to change the approach in the cellar by the idea of using Amphora. So he went to Georgia to learn from the masters.

“Revolution” Series:

This unique series consists of a white, rosé and a red solera. Johannes uses this line for experimentations: with solera systems, short time fermentations, vintage blends, you name it… “All allowed, nothing forbidden”, says Zillinger, clearly having fun with creating natural juices one of a kind!

“Because natural wines also make fun in everyday life ~ and taste …

So here’s my interpretation of exciting everyday wines, far from the mainstream. Short-time Fermentation on the skins, Solera system, PIWI vines, vintage blends.

New tastes are opening up; Drinking fun redefined. Viva la Revolution …”


If you want to know more about Solera wines you can click here.



View our range of Johannes Zillinger’s Wines.

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