The story of Dornach estate begins 5000 years ago, around the time settlements were first found in the area, the first documented trace of the term “Dornachhof” (the hill of Dornach) dating back to 1288. In 1836 Anton von Gemini zu Kreuzhof acquired Dornach, his son Max shaping the estate with terraced vineyards and the typical ancient stone walls. The last heirs of the Hausmann family, were three sisters who inherited Dornach in 1980 and after years of effort and dedication completed the renovation of the estate. Today, the heirs of the Von Hausmann and the Von Gelmini families look after the vineyards and the property. Patrick began the conversion to organic farming in 2008 – when the estate’s grapes were again used for its own production – and began applying biodynamic principles to the agriculture. Biodynamics is much more than a simple farming technique. Dornach experience it as a broad development process that involves vineyards, vegetable gardens, animals and finally engages the human element.
The 1000cm3 wines are Patrick’s exercise in creating wine not only naturally but with extreme nonintervention. Using PIWI varietals – a German abbreviation relating to the project to create Fungus resistant varieties – allows grapes to be grown with no treatments in the vineyard so, no tractor use. Alongside the use of natural yeasts and bottling without fining, filtration or additions, these nonvintage wines are bottled in litres to reduce the total amount of glass used and to match up to big thirsts. 1000cm3 Bianco is an exotic blend of Solaris, Bronner & Souvignier Gris. 1000cm3 Rosso is delicious rustic 100% Regent, fermented in amphora, steel & oak. The Pinot Bianco ‘1’ is 100% Pinot Blanc, fermented and aged in stainless steel and holding its spice with delicate white flowers. Only 100 cases of both this and the Pinot nero ‘2’ are made. Both also share a purity of fruit and lightness of touch. Indeed, the Pinot Nero ‘2’ is only 11% alcohol and offers a beautiful mountain style of the grape. The Souvignier Gris ‘5’ spends one week fermenting on the skins and is produced from a crossing specifically bred to be fungus resistent, thus eliminating the need for pesticides. Fruit for the pure-scented Gewürztraminer G is from the Faiderleiten vineyard and is vinified, as ever, with wild yeasts and aged in stainless steel. The Pinot Nero ‘8’ is from the calcerous vineyards of Mittlere and obere Steigleiten, seeing one year in large format oak and one in smaller barrels.