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The Austrian vintner Pia Strehn, also known as the country’s «Miss Rosé».

«Rosé is a fascinating wine»

The Austrian vintner Pia Strehn, also known as the country’s «Miss Rosé», focuses on this speciality and explains why in this interview.
The Strehn family winery in the Burgenland produces five different rosé wines and created a special bottling from Blaufränkisch, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah exclusively for the Peter Keller Edition. The driving force behind the family business is Pia Strehn.
Pia Strehn, what made you focus on rosé?
I initially sampled numerous rosés because I had a genuine interest in this type of wine. We then took up rosé in earnest at our company. I wanted to realize my own expectations of a high-quality wine and introduce greater diversity to this wine category.
What distinguishes a good rosé?
Rosé is not simply a by-product of an average red, but rather a grape in its own right. Accordingly, we select special plots in the vineyards for production. The correct time for harvesting and the gentle processing of the grapes are key. At the end of the day, it’s what ends up in the glass that counts and so harmony and balance are the main criteria. The wine is dry, fresh and characterful with a full, soft body and an abundance of aromas. We ferment our rosés spontaneously with wild yeast. The wines should reflect a relaxed, indulgent lifestyle.
How many rosés are in your range?
We produce five different rosé wines, a Blaufränkisch and a Cuvée. In addition, we also have limited-edition bottlings and our «Elephant im Porzellanladen» as the jewel in the crown. This is a new category of rosé. It breaks with the usual conventions for this type of wine as it is matured in 500-litre barrels – hence the name, which translates as «bull in a china shop». My version is designed to achieve the creamy mouthfeel of a white Burgundy, kind of like a Montrachet rosé.
This wine was once recognized as the best rosé in Austria, earning you the title of «Miss Rosé». Is this an honour for you?
This was the fulfilment of a long-awaited dream. I invest a lot of energy and work into my rosé wines. So I love the title – it’s testament to my commitment.
Is rosé still a trendy drink?
In actual fact, these wines have been booming for several years. There are other wines that would not otherwise exist. However, they need to be somewhat unique to be justified. Depending on the stylistics of the wines, rosés are also incredibly versatile and can be served as an aperitif or as an accompaniment to a hearty main such as blood sausage.
Interview: Peter Keller