Nibiru began in 2015 as 19 year old Josef Schenter became the third generation to work in his family’s vines and begin making wine. Josef along with his wife Julia Nather began working towards organic certification. Together they continue to progress Josef’s family heritage of wine growers as Josef and Julia will reach Demeter Biodynamic certification by the end of 2022.
Nibiru is located in Northern Kamptal in the village of Thürneustift. The vineyards are spread out over 8 hectares between Thürneustift to the north and Mollands to the south and host such top vineyard sites as Goldnagel, Hiesberg, Steinleiten. The climate is cooler here than in southern Kamptal allowing the grapes to burst with fresh acidity. Josef and Julia were fortunate to inherit an abundance of 40 to 90 year old vines to work with. Aside from what they planted themselves in 2018, the youngest vines are 20 year old Portugieser followed by 30 year old Riesling.
In the vines, all work is done meticulously with great care going towards new plantings and regenerative agriculture. New vine plantings are placed between old vines using their own vineyard material. Josef cultivates the baby vines on his own from cuttings from their old vines, which he hand selects the summer before for strength and health. Regenerative agriculture is greatly important to Nibiru as they make their own compost (grape pomace, horse manure, straw) and spread it in the vineyards every year or second year to build humus. Under-vine management is done selectively by hand and the soil between rows is left to grow wild with indigenous plants. The Hiesberg vineyard was Demeter farmed before they bought it in 2015, so that site has been clean for many years, and now they’re working to build humus and indigenous plant populations back again between rows. The terraced Goldnagel site is where their heart is as they envision the future. They’re alone on that slope allowing them to create something closer to permaculture or habitat. They’ve kept large buffer zones between their small terraced parcels to minimize the negative effects of the rows being technically a monoculture with some indigenous cover crops in between. Their vision is to flip it and restore this hillside to a wild habitat with vines growing in between.
After each cluster come is harvested by hand and sent to the cellar where it will undergo spontaneous fermentation, without finings or additions. Also, the usage of sulphur is reduced to the minimum. The wines are mostly aged in old oak barrels until they are bottled unfiltered and sealed with a natural cork.