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The cooperative of Neckenmarkt was created in 1968 amidst a very difficult situation. As a result of rich harvests in 1966 and 1967 and excess supplies on the market, the prices for grape were below cost. There were hardly any buyers of grapes that would have been willing to pay a price that would cover the costs. Karl Heincz, the mayor of Neckenmarkt, tried to persuade the town's vintners to form a cooperative in order to control supply jointly and to set up storage facilities.

Again and again, he would remind them of the harvest the previous year when 150,000 to 200,000 kilograms of grapes had been loaded on to trailers and traders would not agree to buy the grapes until the farmers were ready to sell for rock-bottom prices.


Picture: Wine Press House 1968

In May 1968, at last, construction began on a press house and storage facilities.

In 1968, the cooperative had 243 members. With each year, step by step, they managed to persuade more vintners to join. Twenty years later, the number of members had already gone up to more than 400. In 2009, approx. 180 members managed a total of 300 hectares of vineyards. About 85% of the total harvest in Neckenmarkt is derived from the cooperative, with 90% of its members managing their vineyards on a part-time basis. Approximately 10 years ago, the average vineyard area per wine-grower was around one hectare; it has gone up to two hectares since then and is likely to double again over the next ten years. This means that the number of part-time operations will decrease and that the remaining vintners will attach greater importance to wine-growing.

In 1968, they took in about 700,000 kg of grapes. Nowadays, the production volume is closer to 1.5 to 2 million litres a year, which is used to vinify almost 1% of the total grape harvest of Austria - or approx. 5% of all Austrian red wines.

In 1992, the cooperative renamed itself to "Neckenmarkt Wineries".


The Winzerkeller Neckenmarkt

   
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