Angelika Mang, Christine Mazza and Birgit Trautsamwieser think it’s good to get out and see the world from time to time. To discover how great it is to be a Wachau vintner.
When sipped from elegant glasses, wine simply tastes better. When Angelika Mang, Christine Mazza and Birgit Trautsamwieser get together to taste their wines, it has to be fun. After setting the rustic tavern table with their best glasses – and sunglasses on their noses – they’re ready for fun. They share a lot in common: all three are in their early thirties, and head their own wine estates in Weißkirchen. What is distinctive about these woman-vintners and what do they have in common? We talked – and sipped – with them.
Forget the clichés: these women usually prefer work clothes to traditional dirndl costumes. Because clothes with pockets are better for carrying tools. “My father always said you never enter a vineyard without pruning shears,” is Birgit Trautsamwieser’s logic. Her decision to take over the family business came after a brief stint studying business management. “When you get older, you appreciate what your family has to offer. That’s when I said okay, I’ll do it. I wouldn’t be here today if they had made me take over.”
Time off to study or work elsewhere is something all three women have behind them. While Christine Mazza briefly studied at a technical college, Angelika Mang has a background in tourism: “Unlike our parents, we today have the luxury of deciding whether we want to take over the winery.” And they did, but not without that subtle measure of freedom the three ladies from Weißkirchen lay claim to. The freedom that allowed them to discover other wine regions, for instance. South Tyrol, southern Styria or Neusiedlersee: in such places they sought new inspiration to apply at home in the vineyard, cellar and the winery tavern.
For the Mazza and Trautsamwieser wineries, the weeks when their Heuriger taverns are open provide an important source of income. Besides, running a tavern is fun: “You get to know so many nice people. I like the variety it offers – after working alone much of the time in the vineyard,” Christine Mazza shares. “And the guests immediately tell you what they especially like – the feedback is important,” Birgit Trautsamwieser adds. Such enthusiasm for the Heuriger tradition is contagious. Angelika Mang fancies launching a Heuriger at her Lichtgartl winery.
She readily accepts advice from the two other women. There is no hint of the three seeing themselves as competitors. Instead, they share the joy when an idea takes hold. Or when one of their “children” turns out exceptionally well. “Maturing a vintage is like raising a child – some are a bit more difficult than others. Or different. Like my Riesling last year. And then, wouldn’t you know, it turned out to make Auslese grade,” Birgit Trautsamwieser reports with a laugh.
Despite much in common, Birgit, Angelika and Christine each also have their own ways. “Frizzante? No chance. Because I don’t drink it myself. I could never get behind a product like that,” Christine Mazza explains. But the other two, into bubblies, have frizzante on offer. It is precisely such candidness that makes these women-winemakers so likeable.
To appreciate what you have at home,
you have to go away
– for a little while at least.
The women also candidly wear their pride at making wine in the Wachau. “Because it’s just so very beautiful here,” the three of them agree. They recommend going away and coming back, to freshen your appreciation. And in the autumn, they advise their guests to discover the Wachau on foot. But not without the necessary accessories: a blanket, a bottle of Wachau wine, and elegant wineglasses of course.