For years I have been drawn to Styria. More precisely, to Leutschach. There, at the southernmost end of Styria, always just a few steps away from the Slovenian border, you will find a band of four winegrowers (Franz Strohmeier, the West Styrian, is the fifth in the group) who put an innovative exclamation mark on a region that is not necessarily known for experimentation, and who skilfully bridge the gap between tradition and the avant-garde.
Andreas, and here we are at the beginning of the story, I first met at the train station in Ehrenhausen. In his opinion, the perfect starting point to dive into the wine world of Styria, and since I had never been down there before - virtually on the Slovenian border - we didn't take the direct route to Leutschach, but chose the hills, the wine road, the route past border pegs and vines. We passed the Slovenian-Slovenian-Styrian border a few times and while we proved to be physical border crossers, Andreas told me about life as a border crosser between the local wine worlds: "Actually, I had the vineyards from my father on the Riegersburg. But I actually wanted to do something at my place, so I decided to start new vineyards in my home country. Then a lot of things went wrong at first, and just before I threw it all away, I thought to myself, now I'll really start again."