Erich and Arnold Bayer call St. Michael their home – a tiny village with only 21 residents. For twenty years, the two of them have worked on their six-hectare vineyard, which has been in the family’s possession since 1848. Erich is the main force both in the vineyard and the cellar, and his meticulous working methods result in richly textured and vivacious wines. He pays as much attention to grape varieties as he does to terroir: he is therefore above all interested in single-vineyard wines, even if the names of his terraces are not as famous as some of the others in Spitz or Weissenkirchen. But this is precisely what makes them interesting to explore – where else would one get a Riesling from the Harzentleithen or from the Ralais? He works in harmony with nature, and does a lot manually, always with a view to reflecting the specific characteristics of the soil. Erich’s range is dominated by Veltliner, and his flagship wine SOPHIE is pressed from the grapes of old vines. The Veltliner are complemented by some more aromatic varieties, Zweigelt, Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay, which Erich sometimes turns into ice wine. It is possible to sample the Bayer wines in a classic Heurigen, which is run by Arnold. It opens four or five times a year, and is particularly enjoyable in the warmer months, when guests can relax amongst the many trees in the garden.