Roland Tauss, biodynamic winemaker in Styria, Austria

Weingut Roland Tauss

Recently we run a feature on Weingut Roland and Alice Tauss, the Austrian winery producing Orange Wines., among other really nice wines. Today we will talk to its winemaker Roland Tauss.

Guten morgen, Roland, and thank you for your collaboration. Why did you decide to start producing wine in Styria, and especially Orange Wines?

My parents lived here and I took the winery from them. I continue the work of my parents. The taste of my biodynamic grapes is very special and so I wanted to have much taste of the grapes and the soil in my wines and the best way was to make a longer maceration with skins.

A prolonged time of skin contact takes away the wine’s acidity and provides it with more texture. Which is the process for this to happen?

In the grape is the whole life force of a vegetation year and through a longer maceration I get also more into the wine.

Are there some varietals that adapt better to this method than others?

For grape varieties which have less acidity, this can be very exciting.

Would it be possible to obtain a similar result with a red varietal?

Yes and there are the red dyes and tannins.

You employ biodynamic agriculture. Can you explain us how this works?

It is a holistic work to bring the vital forces of nature back to balance. We use biodynamic preparations and take into account the constellations of the planets.

Orange wine is an old tradition coming from Georgia. Centuries ago they used amphorae for burying the wines underground. Some producers use nowadays kvevri. Do you use these ageing recipients?

No, I am working with little wooden barrels. There remains more light energy in the wine. 

How long is the period in which you keep the must in contact with the skins? Does it vary from year to year or variety to variety?

Two to three weeks is for me enough and there could be some days difference from year to year.

Which red and white varietals are easier to grow here? Any one giving you a great satisfaction working with?

Blaufränkisch and Sauvignon Blanc are a little easier. There are not so big differences between the varieties and I am satisfied if there are all vines and grapes healthy.

Which wine is giving you the highest satisfaction working with?

It is the wine where I find vitality, ground aromatics and a certain dynamics.

What is your approach to winemaking?

The vital forces gather in the grape and conserve in the cellar. That in wine is all that inside what nature has provided for him.

What’s your personal touch in your wines?

This is me. Without the people there is no wine.

Tell us about Taste Of Life, the group of winemakers you belong to.

We are five wine individualists that live their dream. Our collective path of researching holistic nature understanding leads us to new lifestyle – a new style of wine. We are making living wine – wine with soul.

What kind of wines do you drink when you are not working?

Vivid natural wines and wines from our group Taste Of Life.

With which one of your wines would you advice me to start tasting first?

Sauvignon Blanc vom Opok. This wine comes from the lower part of our vineyard and shows very much character.

Danke, Roland!!

Photos © by Weingut Roland and Alice Tauss

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