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A family perspective

Everyone does what they are really good at. Together they are unbeatable. Welcome to the Schmelz family winery at Joching.

House dog Ares has the best job: lazing about in the sun and guarding the golf cart. By the way, this is one of the most popular modes of transport among Weißenkirchen winegrowers – perfect for quickly jetting off to the steep slopes on the Danube’s left bank.

In contrast to their four-legged friend, the other family members have much more demanding tasks: everyone concentrates on what he or she knows best. This is how a family business works. “I think the size of our business is ideal. We produce wine from a total of twelve hectares. We can still manage this as a family. And we enjoy it,” Thomas Schmelz explains.

His place is in the wine cellar. This is where the fine Schmelz wines mature in steel tanks. The new Federspiele® wines are already available for purchase at the winery. A perfect opportunity to buy it is the take-away Heuriger tavern, which the family has already opened several times during the lockdown.

The Schmelz winery: a family-run business in the Wachau for more than 150 years.
Recreation – a place to regenerate: Thomas Schmelz at his self-built hunting lodge

The 2020 vintage is a sensation. Thomas Schmelz

The take-away wine tavern is not the only novelty that has been introduced in recent months. Thomas Schmelz’s pride and joy is his new refuge at the Jochinger Berg vineyard. He has built a retreat for himself there: a hunting lodge including a fireplace and a cozy sitting area. By the way, anyone who walks by is welcome to take a seat outside and enjoy the view.

If you look out over the Joching and Weißenkirchen vineyards, you will certainly spot Florian, Thomas’ brother – most likely on the tractor, as that is his place. The trained farm mechanic looks after everything technical at the winery. “Florian working at the winery is like a jackpot for us,” Bianca Schmelz says.

Master of the machines: in his spare time, Florian Schmelz makes smokers for true BBQ pleasures
The family doesn’t mind the new slow pace

Bianca Schmelz is usually in the office. Additionally, Thomas Schmelz’s wife is also responsible for the direct sales from the winery. This means she is fully committed to providing top service for our guests and customers. But with the necessary breaks. “Now, we always take a one-hour lunch break. If you work hard for six days a week, you are entitled to enjoy your lunch in peace and quiet,” Bianca and Thomas Schmelz reason. Another learning in the last couple of months has been: things move even better after gearing down.

Keep up with the times but keep your feet on the ground. Bianca Schmelz

Meanwhile, the kitchen is bustling with activity. Here, senior chef Monika Schmelz and co-worker Birgit, Thomas’ cousin, are preparing their famous spare ribs – the most popular dish at the Heuriger tavern for 30 years. The ingredients for their seasoning mix are top secret. But it may be revealed that the Schmelz family counts on quality meat from Höllerschmid in the Kamptal valley.

Seasonal pleasure: this is the time for wild garlic!
Monika Schmelz preparing delicacies for the take-away Heuriger tavern

The family is proud of the fact that many locals come to their Heuriger. This is like an accolade standing for top quality. “When we are on holiday, we also check where the locals go,” Bianca Schmelz explains.

As long as Corona is with us, we’ll be spending our holiday at the hunting lodge at Jochinger Berg – with the golf cart as our vacation vehicle. House dog Ares is already on board. Front row with ample legroom.