Judith Beck

Gols, Burgenland, Austria

Located in the village of Gols Judith Beck and her family tend to 15 hectares of vines surrounding their beautiful winery and home. Although the Beck family has been farming crops sustainably in Burgenland for decades it was in 1976 that they decided to increase their plantings of vines and focus exclusively on making wine. When Judith took over from her father Matthias in 2001 they began practicing Biodynamics, which has become a major part of their lives. Official biodynamic conversion commenced in 2007.

Judith trained at Château Cos d'Estournel in Bordeaux, Braida in Piedmont and Errazuriz in Chile and has seen many different approaches to winemaking and farming. Since moving home to Gols she has focused entirely on homeopathic and sustainable agriculture and this is what led her to make natural wines. She found that Biodynamics gave her healthier soils, vines and grapes and eventually the wines stopped needing additions. Her experiences all over the globe has led her to believe that because of life and health in her vineyards she is able to realize terroir-driven, emotional and lively wines often with no intervention whatsoever.

Judith makes dozens of beautiful wines and choosing between them was very difficult. She works primarily with indigenous Austrian and Hungarian varieties (Burgenland was a part of Hungary until 1921) and is a member of the Pannobile association which champions indigenous grape varieties in the region. She is also a member of “11 Frauen und ihre Weine” (11 Women and their Wines) and “Respect” which is an association of Biodynamic growers in Austria. Winemaking is hands off, with no synthetic chemicals added during the process, some wines are bottled with a small addition of So2 but otherwise there is nothing. All her fruit is handpicked.

The Bambule! wines are the result of a very free-spirited approach and are the logical consequence of Judith's biodynamic work in the vineyards that has led her to natural winemaking. The Bambule! line is where you will find more experimental wines. Bambule! white wines usually see some skin contact (ranging from days to weeks) which is done for added stability and structure. Because the acidity of the white grapes can be low skin contact helps add freshness and lift to the wines. For the reds, she looks for freshness with extremely gentle winemaking (no pump-overs or punch-downs) so that the tannins stay fresh and lively.

In Judith Beck’s own words: “International style can be produced by everyone, everywhere. My wines are my own. They are here and now. And that is for me the most beautiful thing”.

 

2016 Weissburgunder

Also known as Pinot Blanc. Generally the whites in Burgenland are powerful and high in alcohol. Judith makes a leaner, fresher style naturally fermented in a combination of stainless steel and old oak and aged in large casks.

 

2016 Neuberger

Neuburger is an old, traditional white grape variety. It became unfashionable in the 90s and slowly plantings of it declined but Judith sees great potential for it. She planted this ½ hectare parcel in 2008. It is south-west exposed on a slope with gravelly soil.  Naturally fermented in a combination of stainless steel and old oak and aged in large casks.

 

2016 Neuberger Bambule!

From the same site as the above Neuberger but with different winemaking. Grapes were destemmed and lightly footcrushed before the juice was macerated for 5 days on skins. It was then pressed and racked into old barriques where it finished fermentation. The wine was kept here on lees for a year without an stirring. It was bottled unfined, unfiltered and without added So2. 2000 bottles produced.

 

2015 Ink

A blend of Zweigelt and St Laurent, this is a fresh and juicy red fermented naturally in stainless steel tanks and aged in large casks.

 

2015 Zweigelt

From vineyard sites in Halbturn, Apetlon and Gols. The soils are sandy-limestone-gravel. Grapes are handpicked, sorted in the vineyard and destemmed. Ferments begin naturally in stainless steel tanks, with 10 days of skin contact before being racked off skins and moved into 1000-2000 litre, neutral acacia wood casks for two months to finish fermenting. Then the wine is transferred to old barriques for 8-10 months of aging.

  

2015 Zweigelt Bambule!

These grapes come from a 1/2 hectare, mid-slope parcel from the Kurzberg vineyard planted in 2007. It is a south-west facing slope with sandy loam and limestone soil. The grapes are taken from the middle part, not from the plateau on top and not from the bottom, because they are the ripest but still with low sugar levels.            To make the wine the tops are removed from 500 litre barrels that are positioned directly underneath her de-stemmer. This allows the grapes to gently fall directly into the upright barrels after which CO2 is added. Then the barrels are closed with a plastic sheet and left upright for three weeks. A simultaneous alcoholic fermentation with native yeasts of the juice (from the berries that have burst open) and a carbonic maceration within the intact berries begins. After three weeks, the wine is pressed with a small basket press and racked into old Barriques. The juice is still very sweet at this point because of the intact berries and finishes fermentation here. The wood tops are put back on the barrels after pressing and the same casks are used for the aging period. Bottled unfinined, unfiltered without added So2. 2000 bottles produced. 

 

2015 Blaufrankisch Bambule!

Blaufrankisch is usually picked later than Zweigelt and has thicker skins. Judith selects the fruit for this wine from different vineyard sites in Halbturn and Gols. The soils are known as Seewinkelschotter, sandy-limestone-gravel. Grapes are handpicked, sorted in the vineyard and destemmed. Ferments begin naturally in stainless steel tanks, with 10 days of skin contact before being racked off skins and moved into 1000-2000 liter, neutral acacia wood casks for two months to finish fermenting. Then the wine is transferred to old barriques for 8-10 months of aging. 

RETAIL

  • Kenaston Wine Market
  • Ellement Wines & Spirits
  • Banville & Jones
  • Winehouse
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