Christian Tschida is based in the town of Illmitz on the shores of Lake Neusiedl and is the fourth generation of a family of winemakers. He took over the winery from his father in 2003. He farms 14 hectares of vineyards around Illmitz (the old family vineyards) and on the other side of the lake around Purbach (these vineyards were gradually acquired).
He does not use any chemicals in the vineyard or cellar and the wines are not manipulated in any way. All wines are bottled without clarification, filtration and since 2013 completely without sulphur. In the vineyard, he uses his unique combination of his own compost and straw, and exceptionally uses sprays of fermented herbs and herbal oils. His vineyards look like a botanical garden. They are full of grass, flowers, herbs, insects and animals. Some of the vineyards are managed in a special double planting system, where 2 plants are planted close together, forcing them to compete for water and nutrients to the maximum. The roots then grow faster and deeper into the ground. Yields are very low, everything is subordinated to maximum quality. Perfect and healthy grapes are pressed in the most gentle way. Tschida uses 2 unique presses. One is the Bucher - Vaslin basket press "the Rolls Royce of presses", the other is a custom-made pneumatic vacuum press in Germany. The yield is only 55%, only the best juice comes out of the press. All wines ferment spontaneously and are aged for a minimum of 1 year in large Stockinger barrels, which are custom made from several types of Austrian wood.
The hallmark of Christian Tschida is his superbly drinkable wines, which are complex, have depth, an unmistakable signature and lower alcohol with perfect ripeness of the grapes.
His wines have fans around the world and are also on the menus of the world's finest restaurants from New York to Tokyo. In some countries, Tschida enjoys cult status. In conservative Austria, he has long been called the "Enfant Terrible" of Austrian winemaking. After being named Austrian Winemaker of the Year 2016 in the prestigious Gault Millau vintage, he has also gained great respect at home. It was the first time in the history of Austrian winemaking that this award was given to a winemaker who works completely without sulphur!
Fun facts about Christian Tschida:
Christian is a huge art lover – both his labels and house are full of works created by his friends, like Eró or Mel Ramos
The Tschidas have been making wine in Illmitz since the 19th century, and Christian still farms some of these old family vineyards
Christian is one of the most fastidious growers we know – he’s obsessed with how every detail in the vineyard or in the cellar can impact the quality of his wines
Some of his vineyards are planted in “doppel-stock”, a double planting system that pushes the roots to compete and seek deeper for nutrition and water
One of the crucial points is pressing – he’s using a top-notch Bucher-Vaslin basket press (“the Rolls Royce of presses”) and a tailor-made pneumatic press, both exerting the “power of a handshake” and yielding only the best juice
When Christian took over the family winery in 2003, most of the customers refused to follow his low-alcohol, elegant red vision; luckily, his wine was selected by a major local bank, who decided to serve it for their classy business lunches just because they didn’t want the executives to get drunk!