Page 36 - Demo
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Life never fails to entertain,although family affairs are even funnier at times, so it seems. While Martin Grassl, the Austrian-born, Swiss-educated founder of Porfidio has dedicated his working life to making the best agave spirits on three continents, Mexico, Australia and India, his son Emiliano, half-Mexican,half-Austrian and educated in the Netherlands, has started his own career by making whisky in Australia. Then, Martin’s father, Helmut, Emiliano’s grandsire, moved into the picture. A lifelong dentist, in his retirement he has now sunk his teeth into viticulture, and opened a winery in Austria. It might sound rather confusing, but it isn’t really; at the bottom of the glass, it’s all related to the same old exciting planet Earth.
So, what does a family with a complex multinational background in alcoholic beverages do when composing an Austrian wine for the international market? Very simple: it gathers the best expertise and inspiration from all corners of the world in the best possible synergy for creating a superb single-variety white wine while being faithful to the terroir, the Sulmtal, one of Europe's renowned wine regions deep in Southern Austria, the South Styrian Wine country whose vintages are much easier on the tongue than the terroir´s German name.
While many commercial wine makers today follow the well-trodden path of using internationally common grape varieties, the ubiquitous French standards like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, we abjured such commercialized sin against biodiversity. Instead, we nurtured the centuries-old famous local Welschriesling grape, as cultivated in our own hilly vineyard. The name of the grape is unintentionally confusing to consumers, since Welschriesling has no botanical connection to Riesling. "Welsch" in old German, meant "of Roman origin"; and Riesling meant "local grapes." So, we are indebted to the Romans who carried the vines across the mountains while loading up with kidnapped slaves on their way back home.
Tangentially, beyond the historic background of the grape, we also took a liking to it for three other reasons:
- It only grows on magnesium-rich soil, like the agave, there it goes!
- It has a unique delicate taste,with a natural acidity perfectly suited for barrel ageing, much more so than a Chardonnay
Ageing is a key component in defining the final taste of wine and spirits, and our progressive oenologist, Rainer Hack, came up with an interesting "Gringo" idea, inspired by California's grand wineries such as Mondavi and Fetzer, who have taken to ageing some of their special reserve wines in Bourbon barrels to give an extra touch of holy spirituousness. And so, a new wine category was born. Our emulatory idea was to age the wine in one-time-used tequila barrels, made of the best American oak, whose staves had been slowly perfused with a hint of Single-Agave Tequila over its one year’ maturation.
We tried it, and we loved it so much that we decided to share our private Grassl single-estate Family Reserve with connoisseurs who would appreciate its subtlety.
All our grapes are truly 100% organic as well 100% organic-certified. Rather selfishly we did not want to poison our lungs while sipping Porfidio at the estate manor's porch on top of the vineyard hill and so it was simply incidental that no chemicals were sprayed. In all honesty, organicness might not influence the taste, but it does make a positive commitment to the planet, not to mention to the health of the drinker!

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