Eighth-generation Bernhard Stadlmann, who took the reins from his father Johann with the 2006 vintage, holds three doctoral degrees, but he chose ultimately to dedicate his life to continuing and refining the traditions established by his long chain of predecessors. Stadlmann owns 20 hectares of vines in 35 separate parcels in the northern sector of the Thermenregion, a chain of gentle east-facing slopes with soils of varyingly mixed limestone and clay. (If this topography brings Burgundy to mind, that is no accident: Cistercian monks brought Burgundian varieties to the Thermenregion in the late 12th century, surely sensing a certain kinship with the lands from which they had come.) While the Stadlmann family produces outstanding examples of GrĂ¼ner Veltliner (which assumes a lovely saltiness in these limestone soils), Weissburgunder, and Pinot Noir, they are most renowned for their riveting and age-worthy Rotgipfler and Zierfandler. Only about 120 hectares of Rotgipfler and 75 hectares of Zierfandler still exist in the Thermenregion, and Stadlmann is their clear standard-bearer, having perfected the management of these finicky varieties through accumulated generational wisdom.