Rebels of Wine : Johannes Zillinger

In our blog series; ‘Rebels of Wine’, We get personal with some of our wine makers who showcase their talents through minimal intervention methods of wine making and their passion for terroir (amongst other things that excite them).  It is with their commitment to creating honest and true wines that we are able to build the foundations of our offerings. Let's get crackin!

This month we were honored to sit down with Austrian wine maker Johannes Zillinger. His family winery is based in Weinviertel and has been operating organically since the 1980s. His father Hans was a pioneer of sustainable farming and started working organically long before it became common practice in Austria. To this day Johannes grows a variety of herbs in his vineyards that naturally protect the vines from disease rather than resorting to the use of pesticides and herbicides. Only the best grapes make it into his wines, and Johannes strictly adheres to a minimal interventionist style of winemaking. 

Give us a little insight of your journey. How did you get in to wine making?

Born and grow up in a organic farm/winery; During the vintage of 2000, I produced my first wine as employee of my father; 2011 traveled to Georgia, visit some small kvevri producer, went home with new ideas; 2012 took over the winery and changed everything to bio-dynamic Demeter and created a new, low intervention wine style which now our winery is synonymous for.

Would You Rather Have A Third Eye Or A Third Arm?

With a third eye I would see more things I would hope. A third arm would look very strange….maybe I would weigh 5 Kgs less, which might be the only advantage!



How do you see Wine changing in the next 20 years considering factors of climate change and increased population?

There are so many trends throughout the wine world, commercial and niche; It would definitely put me at an advantage if I knew in the next five years how the weather would be, Unfortunately that will not be the case. Climate change is happening at such a rapid rate, for me that means finally to pay more attention to the soil, continue to implement my own ideas of the winery. Staying true to that practice will help we weather any storm.

What’s your favorite wine at the moment and which musician would it resemble to you?

NUMEN Rosé St. Laurent 2017 / The Killers / Mr. Brightside





If you could make a rule for a day and everyone had to follow It, what would It be?

I would implement a 3 day rule! On the first day everyone should walk out into the nature to see and understand how multifaceted nature is. At the second day everyone should get drunk only by natural wine. And at the third day everyone will be surprised about the feeling...no hangovers!


What advice would you give to aspiring Wine makers?

Stay true to your self. Do what you like and produce what you like to drink. 
But please do this at least in a organic way.


Pick 3 wines from Gonaturalista.com which you would recommend our wine lovers :

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