With a total annual production of only 2,500 cases we are super excited to be launching these hard to find, unique mountainous wines to the UK this summer. Tom has 8 hectares of certified organic vineyards in Rechnitz. It is a unique location: it lies at the southern foothills of the Günser Gebirge mountain range (sometimes referred to as the Rechnitz slate mountains) on the border between Austria and Hungary with elevations of up to 900m. The wooden mountain range separates the mid from the southern part of Burgenland and also marks the transition from the alpine regions to the Pannonian lowlands. The soils are made up from metamorphic, crystalline schist and magmatic rocks, which can be found in this way in only 3 other places in the world. This unique location and Tom’s focus on single vineyard plots and low-intervention, express a wonderful texture in his wines. With enticing whites to well-structured reds, Tom’s goal is to produce distinctive wines which speak of their origin. Tom gave up on herbicides in 2003 and has been increasing organic farming ever since, becoming fully certified in 2017. He trusts in cover crops, cattle manure and a lot of manual work in the vineyard. The windy conditions in Rechnitz fortunately prevent fungal diseases. In the cellar Tom prefers used oak, large oak, some stainless steel, amphorae, lees ageing, careful and smooth macerations and little sulphite additions – that’s it. As Tom puts it ‘the more time you spend in your vineyards, the less of it you’ll need to spend in the cellar’. Let’s drink to that!
Straka Family history:
The first generation of the Straka family in Rechnitz came in the 18th century from Bohemia. They were a successful family of woodturners who purchased land and planted vines. The name “Straka” means “magpie”, which is the explanation for the label design that refers to the family’s history. By the end of the 1950s they opened the first “heuriger” (farmer’s wine tavern) in Rechnitz. In the 1970s, Thomas Straka’s father took over the family business, but his main employment was postmaster in Deutsch-Schützen on the Eisenberg. Tom’s mother, who was always interested in gastronomy, operated the heuriger with a passion and sold the family’s home-grown wines there. Thomas, born in 1981, always loved to work with wine. He graduated from the college for viticulture in Eisenstadt and then gained practical experience at the winery of Albert Gesellmann in Deutschkreutz and subsequently worked for six years at the Elfenhof winery in Rust. In 1999 he took over the family winery and became operating manager of the wine cooperative in Deutschkreutz. When his father passed away unexpectedly in 2008, he returned home entirely.