Schilfwein: invented by the Opitz winery in Austria’s Burgenland
Willi Opitz, a passionate, award-winning winemaker from Illmitz on Lake Neusiedl, lives and labours by his motto: “Life is too short to drink bad wine”. Opitz first studied and worked as a mechanical engineer and then in 1995, together with his wife Maria, fulfilled his dream to become a winegrower. Today, the couple is renowned throughout Austria and the world of wine for their creativity and enthusiasm. He entered Austrian wine law history as the inventor of Schilfwein (Reed Wine).
By the light of the Blood Moon
Willi Opitz decided to make his 2019 Schilfwein on 21st of January, under the glow of the Blood Moon. This Schilfwein is a dessert wine made from fully ripe red grapes of the highest quality. Before vinification, the grapes must be left to dry naturally on the reeds for at least three months. In the Pannonian climate with its many hours of sunshine, this can be done in polytunnels even in autumn and winter.
Sustainable winemaking, hospitality and culinary delights
Today Opitz makes this exceptional sweet wine alongside his range of classic, fruity dry white and red wines. A well-known winemaker and highly sought-after speaker,, he tends vineyards and a small winey in Illmitz, where he also conducts seminars for groups interested in wine and gastronomy. By prior booking, you can also enjoy the culinary delights of CIA-Catering Service (“Criminally Good Food”) masterminded by his daughter Angela and his son-in-law Ian. Alongside his activities in Illmitz, Willi Opitz is an evangelist for sustainable winemaking. He consults on international wine projects in Transylvania and Armenia, and travels to less developed regions to help with new vineyard plantations.
The Opitz family loves receiving visitors. You can taste in the winery, stay in the eight-room guest house in Illmitz, and learn, amongst other things, what a fine match this wine makes with nibbles such as the local smoked ham, chocolate brownie or blue cheese.