Lackner-Tinnacher’s family enterprise is metamorphosis: the vines grow up from the stony, mineral-laden earth; the grapes emerge and flourish; and then they are harvested and gently crafted into wine. Perched atop a steep and stony hill in the town of Gamlitz, the Tinnacher family has been creating wines here since 1770, 240 years of history.
Lackner-Tinnacher has always been a family business. They relish the freedom to create their wines in their style: pure, elegant, timeless — that corporate governance would not permit. The family can trace their roots back to 1629, and the first mention of their wines is in the Josephinist land registry from 1787. The modern era began in 1976, when Wilma Lackner inherited the winery from her uncle. In 1980 she married Fritz Tinnacher, and the his surname was added to the winery’s name.
Gamlitz is a tiny municipality in the South Styria region of Austria, located along its southeastern border with Slovenia, some 300 kilometers south of the more famous growing region of Kamptal. The Tinnachers have toiled in relative obscurity, as they are one of only a handful of producers whose wines make it to our shores.
“For me, everything fits together; good food, wine, music, art, and architecture… the architecture needs to fit with the philosophy of the wine — clean, clear, straight.”
— Katharina Tinnacher
The rolling hills of Gamlitz and the almost-Mediterranean gentleness of the climate combine to create picturesque scenery, and world-class wines. The soils here are complex and diverse, the geological evolution of faults and folds have formed layers of lime marl, gravel, sand, and shell limestone. Lackner-Tinnacher has 21 hectares of vineyards at altitudes of 360-500 meters above sea level, eight varietals planted on six challenging sites, with old and deeply-rooted vines. They pride themselves on knowing the intricacies of each site, and what they can demand of them.
The Tinnacher labels provide insight into the family’s winemaking philosophy. Designed in 2009 by an acclaimed graphic artist, they’re adorned with imagery of the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly. The label’s image indicates their goal for that wine: wines to drink young show a caterpillar; wines to lay down show a cocoon; wines with the most aging potential show a butterfly.
Two generations of the Tinnacher family work at the winery now — Wilma and Fritz both come from a long lineage of winemakers. Their daughter Katharina joined the family business recently after graduating from Vienna University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences. The future is bright for Lackner-Tinnacher, as they are poised to emerge on the world’s stage with the flourish and beauty of their beloved butterfly.
Vinecraft distributes the Lackner-Tinnacher wines exclusively in Florida.
2010 Gelber Muskateller Gamitz
100% Gelber Muskateller. Hand-harvested from 40+ year old vines from the Gamitz single vineyard, located at 450 meters above sea level. Fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks. Gamitz is the perfect site for Gelber Muskateller, an indigenous varietal that’s difficult to cultivate. The vineyard stretches on a southwest-facing hillside that is climatically protected by two higher mountains. The soil comprises gravel, sand and some loam, interspersed with scattered gravel conglomerate banks. Here, the Muskateller vines have grown since 1963 – the year they were planted – and have since formed correspondingly deep root systems. Think white peaches, white cherries, flowers mixed with crushed rocks — simply beautiful.
2010 Welschriesling Steinbach
100% Welschriesling. Hand-harvested from 35-50 year old vines from the Steinbach vineyard, located at 420-450 meters above sea level. Fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks. Welschriesling is an ancient varietal, unrelated to Riesling, whose origins are unclear. Some claim the Romans brought it, others think it descends from Croatia, or France. It is grown mostly in Central Europe, and is completely unique and delicious. Think silky pineapples, flowers, and herbs.