"Sonntag Geschlossen” (the translation would be “closed on Sundays”) is a project of Florian Schuhmann and Marcus Sonntag, a farmer in Weitzendorf near the Czech border. Marcus is a computer nerd (which is where he makes his money), though he took over the vineyards of his father and he has become a very serious farmer; he converted the family’s roughly 2 hectares of Grüner Veltliner to biodynamics in 2009. Marcus is very into vineyard work, and less into cellar work – thus most of his production has remained in barrel (large barrels up to 4,000 liters in size) for many years.
In fact, it was only after many barrel tastings and enthusiastic requests from Florian to bottle the wine that Marcus finally agreed to bottle some of the wine. Or, to be more precise, he agreed to let Florian bottle the wine, as Marcus himself just didn’t want to be bothered.
This first release comes from vintage 2011. This is the first barrel to be bottled, a barrel roughly 2,400 liters in size that is well over 100 years old. The wine spent 2,555 days in this barrel (that’s over seven years), being regularly topped up and only lightly sulfured. This wine was bottled only in the late spring of 2019. There is just no way to reproduce the effects of such extended barrel aging (ask one of the most famous Austrian estates to employ this with great effect, Nikolaihof). The wines become somehow glossy and airy, nearly levitating and alive. This 2011 Grüner is wildly integrated, just incredibly, sort of tear-jerkingly elegant. This is Grüner at its most perfumed, sweet apples and pears, nearly caramelized while also airy and rocky – there is that woolly sweetness that shows in Chenin Blancs with some age. Even with nearly a decade already behind it, there is an obvious freshness that drives through it.