Austrian cooper for ovals, rounds and large formats (10 HL-60 HL).
Fassbinderie Schneckenleitner is a fifth generation artisan family run cooperage that is located in Waidhofen/Ybbs, located in the foothills of the Austrian Alps. The cooperage was founded in 1628 and the Schneckenleitner family has been at the helm of the cooperage since 1880. Schneckenlietner produces premium quality large format vessels and they are best known for their ovals and casks or rounds as they call them. The oak for these ovals and rounds are either sourced 100% in Austria or are made from a mix of Eastern European Oak.
Fassbinderie Schneckenleitner is managed by Paul Schneckenleitner, who is a fifth generation Master Cooper from the Schneckenleitner family. Before managing the family cooperage, Paul gained invaluable experience by working in several Burgundy and Cognac based cooperages. With the help of several brothers, his father and his wife, Paul overlooks all aspects at Fassbinderie Scneckenleitner.
Schneckenleiter believes that in order to supply premium, high quality products, it is imperative that the raw ingredients are also of premium quality. It is for this reason that Schneckenleitner buys entire oak logs from forests they have been working with for generations. The logs are brought to their production site and the splitting, preparing and air drying of the wood is done on site.
They offer two different assortments of oak, the first is Mann/Ybbs, which is a mix of oak from Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia and Romania that is air dried along their production site on the banks of the Ybbs river. They also cooper vessels made from 100% Austrian oak, which they call Weidling Oak, a more tight grained oak that is still low in aromatics, like most Eastern European oak after coopering.
Schneckenleitner has built their reputation on the production of their large format ovals, which are found in many of Europe’s finest cellars. Because of the large format, the incredibly low toast, and significantly long air-drying time (amongst Austria’s alpine foothill region which has a rich Flora and Fauna biodiversity), it results in extremely low impact ovals and rounds that respect the wine’s fruit, freshness and minerality, while allowing for some natural micro-oxidation to occur. Their large format vessels work both on white and red wines.
Before being coopered into ovals and rounds, the wood is air-dried for a minimum of at least 5 years. The humid, high precipitation, and rich in biodiversity region of Austria’s alpine foothills allows for an air drying period that naturally rids the oak from its bitter tannins and harshness. Fire bending is used for bending the ovals and rounds. Schneckenleitner’s toast is a “light-long-deep-blonde” toast to ensure that the varietal, freshness and minerality of the wine is respected as much as possible. After toasting and bending, the ovals and rounds are scratched and then planed to guarantee a very smooth surface that is easy for cleaning.
SCHNECKENLEITNER'S STYLISTIC POINTS
Independently family owned artisanal cooper where all important steps are still done by hand
Reputation built on ovals and rounds for fermenting and aging wine
Directly buys and then handles logs at their stave mill located at the cooperage
Air drying of oak is done on site
Selection of either 100% Austrian fine grain oak known as Weidling Oak or an Eastern European blend of oak known as Mann/Ybbs oak
Long air drying time for wood preparation
House toast is the Light-Long-Deep-Blonde toast