Wine Estate Facts
Owner: Hannes and Petra Harkamp
Estate Size: 10 hectares/24.5 acres
Production: 4,200 cases
Grapes: WHITE: Welschriesling, Pinot Blanc (Weissburgunder), Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris (Grauburgunder), Gelber Muskateller, Chardonnay
RED: Merlot, Pinot Noir (Blauburgunder), Blauer Zweigelt
Vineyards: Kogelberg, Oberburgstall, Steil
Hannes and Petra Harkamp are the kind of people you immediately feel at home with. They could easily become your favorite neighbors or best friends. The Harkamps possess a joy for life and down-to-earth attitude that made me simply want to hang out with them for the afternoon. Had the wine not been stellar, it would have been incidental. However, Harkamp wines are stellar, and they quickly became the focus of my attention after our playful photo session atop one of the Harkamps steeply sloped vineyards.
I'm aware this sounds trite, but I got the feeling that Harkamp wine is honestly made and hiding nothing. Wild yeasts are used; along with touches of malolactic fermentation. In fact when talking about his winemaking philosophy, Hannes becomes earnest and explains his credo: My wine is the mirror of my soul. This is printed on every cork. He refers to himself as Weinbauer (wine farmer) vs. Winzer (winemaker). This projects an honesty to his artistry, and until recently, all harvesting, planting and maintenance was done by hand.
The Harkamp "Style" (Steil in German) wines are focused on fruit. These wines are aged in large neutral wooden casks. The result is indeed a wine with fruit, but not one that is overly fruity. Harkamp's Weissburgunder (AKA Pinot Blanc) Steil is replete with scents of apple and pear, along with very subtle notes of caramel and cream. The wine offers a smooth texture along with, what I am coming to discover, south Styria's reliable acidity.
The Sauvignon Blanc "Oberburgstall" is made from vines that grow right outside Harkamp's tasting room. It is, as Hannes describes it, a "double D" wine - ripe, rich and viscous in the mouth. This wine also possesses a distinct white pepper quality, which I have not encountered in other Sauvignon Blancs. A unique wine, indeed.