Producer Profile: Kollektiv Peternell
ABOUT KOLLEKTIV PETERNELL:
There’s something in the waters in Austria because there have been some freakishly good wines coming out of their as of late, packed with exotic fruit and thoughtful production. One producer we have had our eye on lately is new(ish) kids on the block, Kollektiv Peternell, made up of three friends (Simon, Paul and Dave) with whole lot of courage and a whole lot of skill.
Producing (very) small batch wines (think 1,600 bottles a year) in Petronell-Carnuntum in Lower Austria, these three friends-come-winemakers have managed to inject a refreshing sense of youth into their wines that is clear to see across their winemaking ethos and portfolio.
It all started in 2018 when Paul Schuster, a former student and a self-taught chef from Hainburg, wanted to know more about wine and went on a solo self-discovery trip in his orange VW bus. After a harvest in Matassa, he passed through Catalonia where he reached the holy lands of Partida Creus. It was there where legendary owner, Massimo, asked him the most important question of his life on a trip to Valencia: “Why don't you just start making wine yourself? We have everything you need here. Grapes, tanks, a cellar!”.
It was like Christmas! Paul was shook – and immediately called his mate Dave Ferris to break the good news. Dave, a young Englishman who was also travelling through Europe at the time and working at the famed Bar Brutal in Barcelona, said "F*ck it! Let's try it together shall we?" and so they created a barrel of their own wine in Partida Creus. Really weird stuff. But a promising enough venture for the two to continue the wheels spinning on the project despite both returning to their original lives at Bar Brutal in Barcelona and MAST in Vienna respectively.
For the foundations of this to work, they turned to the ultimate project management/business start-up tool, Whatsapp, to launch their proposed project and ditch the pots and pans for grapes and cellars. Without much question, Austria seemed like the ideal place to foster this new relationship and in 2019 they bought a cellar in Petronell and, with help of some friends in good places, they were able to source and purchase their favourite grapes from plots all across the country.
It was around that time that they were joined by the third member of their viti gang, Simon Ecker, a childhood friend of theirs.
The only known photo of the Top Cuvée & Kollektiv Peternell crew in existence
Less is more; whole bunch in open tubs, stomped a bit with feet and to wait. Tom Lubbe method, they call it! A method like that of Legendary Austrian prducers (and Kollektiv’s idols) Claus Preisinger and Judith Beck. Wines pressed quickly after just a few days then left in steel or wood to wait another year and that's it. This process provides light wines with a lot of charisma and playfulness.
There's Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch, Pinot Noir and Welschriesling. All made with confronting honesty, vigour and fun!
Their motto has always been - "no bullshit wines!" and that's the way they say it has to be. “No sleep till Brooklyn!" energy.