Country of Origin: Austria
People: Fred Loimer, Owner & Winemaker
"We have reached our goal when we are able to interpret traditional style in a new way – when wine lovers say 'yes, this is a classic Gumpoldskirchen wine, but it's also a completely new wine experience.' So actually, we will open the treasure of this region to a brand new audience."
Fred Loimer is reinterpreting the Thermenregion tradition. While his outlook on wine seems straightforward enough, the creativity with which he approaches one of Austria’s historically lauded regions is anything but old-fashioned. For Loimer, an ideal wine must be completely dry, complex and elegant, rich in aromas and flavors, intense yet not heavy, and embedded in refreshing acidity. Here this means crafting blends with regional varietals like white grapes, Rotgipfler and Zierfandler, as well as more known red grapes such as Zweigelt, St. Laurent and Pinot Noir.
Biodynamically farmed, the vineyard sites of Schellmann are some of the oldest and most distinct in the region. Many wine lovers know Fred Loimer as an estate producer of wine from Austria’s Kamptal region and it is true that his Kamptal wines are precise and excellent. Fred’s interest in working in the Thermenregion began through his friendship with Gottfried Schellmann who led wine making innovations in the Theremregion for over 40 years. Upon Gottfried’s death in 2005, Fred Loimer decided to roll-up his sleeves and take the challenge of wine growing in a region outside his own. He wanted to ensure that the Schellmann name lived on and the efforts of his friend and the historic vineyards he farmed continued to bear fruit. The Thermenregion has its own style and for Fred this has been both rewarding and challenging. ”It is indeed the greatest personal challenge – that I wasn’t born in this region, that I come from outside of it. And I have to get used to all of its idiosyncrasies.”
Fred rises to the occasion vintage after vintage, and in 2009 even produced a new wine for the estate, the Schellmann “Ossi” Gruner Veltliner named after Gottfried’s son Oswald. It is wonderful to see what happens when a winemaker can step outside the box of his usual appellation and existence and create something new with the finest materials the vineyard has to offer. Surely, this is creativity at its most delicious.