I’ll Drink to That: Winemaker Heidi Schrock

Episode 403 of I’ll Drink to That! was released recently, and it features Heidi Schrock, from Weingut Heidi Schrock in Rust, within Austria’s Burgenland.

Heidi Schrock knows how important the local Lake Neusiedl is to the production of the famous Ruster Ausbruch wine, because for a few years in history there was no water in that lake, and that also meant there was no wine made in Rust for a decade. Heidi, who has documents dating back to when her family founded their farm in Rust in the late 1700s, has a grasp on all sorts of historical details about the region where she makes wine today. She is also aware of how the Ausbruch wines have changed over time, and what that has meant for both the growers and the taste of the wines. A harvest that was once condensed and all in one go is now regularly stretched over two and a half months, and pickers focus in on specific types of berries for different wines. Ausbruch, which can be a stylistically diverse wine from amongst the different producers, thus has a sweeter character today than it might have had in the past, even as recently as the 1970s. But Ausbruch is not a recent wine at all, it goes back hundreds of years and was once the toast of royal European courts. Over the centuries, Rust has found different fortunes at different times. Heidi is particularly good at describing those eras in this interview, which isn’t just a peak at Rust, it is a look at how a wine is a dialogue with its time.

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I’ll Drink to That is the world’s most listened-to wine podcast, hosted by Levi Dalton. Levi has had a long career working as a sommelier in some of the most distinguished and acclaimed dining rooms in America. He has served wine to guests of Restaurant Daniel, Masa, and Alto, all in Manhattan. Levi has also contributed articles on wine themes to publications such as The Art of Eating, Wine & Spirits magazine, Bon Appetit online, and Eater NY. Check out his pictures on Instagram and follow him on Twitter: @leviopenswine