2 min read
with Werner Michlits (Meinklang) Grower & Maker
One of the criticisms most often levied at clean agriculture, and indeed natural wine, is that it can’t be done at scale, and that, consequently, it will always be the remit of tiny, insignificant (or so naysayers would say), artisan producers. Meinklang is living proof that it is possible to farm beautifully at scale. It is a closed-loop, self-sufficient, 2000 ha (approx 5000 acre) biodynamic farm, home to Angus & Aubrac cattle herds, Mangalitsa pigs, horses, sheep and a few chickens. It grows spelt, oats, rye, winter and summer barley, winter and summer durum wheat (Einkorn, Emmer & Kamut), millet, corn and buckwheat, Topaz apples, grapes (some of which are completely unpruned), makes wine and even ancient grain beer. It founded a Steiner school and has recently begun stone-milling its own whole grain flour and is about to open a bakery in Vienna. Not only is the breadth and variety of agricultural products breath-taking, and hugely successful, but Meinklang is also living proof that for properly biodiverse poly-farms, bigger can even mean better.
Werner himself is the genius behind it all. He is warm, gentle and self-effacing, and truly inspirational for achieving what he has achieved with Meinklang. His success with the farm and its growth speaks volumes, but even more remarkable is the fact that this success has walked hand in hand with respect, care and love for all the plants, animals and humans in the farm community. This is a rare opportunity to hear from Werner in person.
Werner Michlits (Meinklang)
Grower & Maker
Meinklang is a lively farm compromising the three typical fields of a Pannonian farmstead in East Austria south of capital town Vienna: wine-growing, fruits and agriculture. Each family-member is specialized in an aspect of farming. Unique is the estate owns Angus & Aubrac cattle herd. It's the farm's source for our own nutritious, organic fertilizer for lively soils in the vineyards and creates the closed circle in the biodynamic Demeter farming. Outstanding issues are the totally unpruned vines, called Graupert and the extended maturation in concrete egg-shaped containers. As well as the family initiated the first holistic Demeter brewery where we refine the ancient grain beer out of the old varieties called Einkorn and Emmer wheat.
Austrian Wine is based in Vienna, and is a national service body for the Austrian wine industry. The organisation was founded in 1986 with the aim to strategically support, coordinate and maintain quality and sales.