|The affable Heidi Schrock in her tasting room.|
Schrock, who resides in her pristine ancestral village home, has converted parts of it into a winery. The room that once housed cattle now holds wine fermenting in stainless steel tanks. Her tasting room was once a grain room. And her cellar, which once had a working well and provided safety during less stable times, is now a wine cellar holding large oak casks of the wine she lovingly makes. The place, like Shrock herself, is eclectic and inviting.
|Schrock's vineyards are on the hill overlooking Rust.|
|Tanks now sit where cattle were once housed.|
|600-year-old barrel room|
As of the end of 2014, Shrock has a new project, where she has special labels on her sweet wines indicating what they can be paired with. In the photo below, the "Beerenauslese" on the left is a pairing for fish, ham, and cheese, and the "Ruster Ausbruch" on the right (vintage 2002) pairs well with fruits such as bananas, as well as nuts and blue-veined cheeses. I brought these two gems home with me.
A bit about Ruster Ausbruch. Ausbruch is a sweet wine of Rust that is similar in style to the sweet wines of Hungary, known as Tokaji (more on them in my next post). Both areas use the Furmint grape, and to some degree "botrytized," or noble-rotted, grapes that concentrate the sugars in a manner that is deliciously sweet but with enough acid to be refreshing. Schrock and many other winemakers in Rust formed the Ruster Ausbruch group in lieu of joining the DAC, or Districtus Austriae Controllatus, system, which determines the quality level of wines throughout the country (in Rust's case, the Burgunland DAC). They believed, and rightly so, that their wines were distinct and reflective of the area of Rust where they were grown and produced and should therefore have their own quality system.
The kinship with Tokaj, Hungary, became apparent to us when Shrock asked us which vineyards we were planning to visit there, which was our next stop on the summer tour. When I mentioned one of the larger producers, she immediately called her friend Judit Bodo in Tokaj and arranged to have us meet with her the very next day. And we were so glad she did, as that turned out to be a memorable visit with another fabulous woman winemaker. And displaying the camaraderie that seems to exist in just about any winemaking community, Shrock had us deliver a bottle of her lovely sweet wine to Bodo. More on our visit to Hungary in my next post.
Until next time, Prost!
For more on Heidi Shrock visit www.heidi-schroeck.com/en_index.php. Some of Shrock's wines are also available at The Wine House (www.winehouse.com) in West Los Angeles. You can also check www.wine-searcher.com for retail outlets near you.
Read Part 1 of my Women of Wine series.