A tradition that started in 1773. Our family-run winery is already in its ninth generation. Into the 1950’s, grandfather Franz Aigner senior still operated a classic mixed agricultural operation, with wine being only one of many crops. Nearly three hectares were stocked with vines, and the wines were sold mainly at the farm gate. But grandfather Franz Aigner already had a penchant for strong wines that should not necessarily be tasted when they were young, and he knew exactly what a special terroir the Sandgrube sand pit offered.
The cornerstone of modern winemaking was laid by our father Franz Aigner, Jr, when he decided to give up mixed farming in order to concentrate fully on wine.
Large areas were then replanted. The vines that he planted at the time are still among the ‘fillets’ within the ‘Kremser Sandgrube’ and the ‘Weinzierlberg’.
During the era of father Franz Aigner, Jr, pioneering work was carried out in all areas. He soon focused on improving quality by reducing quantity. He delivered only about half of the grapes to the cooperative that dominated production at the time and used the rest to make wines himself. He was one of the first people in the region to fill his own bottles. Connoisseurs could tell the difference. He built up a large following of returning customers – individual wine lovers, hotels, restaurants. He could also see that good wines needed to be sold well and thus started attending wine fairs and tastings. The result was numerous awards, especially for the Green Veltliner. The love of powerful wines with ageing potential had been passed on to him from his grandfather, and he would then pass it on to his son. The fruits of his labour are still resting in the cellar – all sorts of interesting Green Veltliners from the 60s and 70s.
In 1985, Franz Aigner, Jr, passed away and left it up to the 21 year old Wolfgang Aigner to manage the business. Since he revered his heritage and had respect for the experience of his father and grandfather, Wolfgang decided not to engage in experimentation, even though during the 1990s it was common to try out new approaches: new varieties of Chardonnay including Merlot and Syrah, trying out different woods and new ways to concentrate the must. Wolfgang Aigner would haven none of this: ‘I knew what our vineyards were capable of, and that our Rieslings and Grüner Veltliners grown in this soil could not be surpassed’.“