This is really two businesses in one - a restaurant and a winery. And it's not clear really which one dominates.
Josef's son is now the head chef in the Dankbarkeit restaurant and Josef's daughter Christine is active as a winemaker, so the future is very promising.
Josef Lentsch (and now Christine) produce some of the best sweet wines in this part of Austria ranging from Auslese right through to Trockenbeernauslese, including a rare red Trockenbeerenauslese made from Pinot Noir (out of production at the moment and we're waiting for the next vintage which we will snatch up, make no mistake!).
The restaurant, in the lakeside village of Podersdorf am See has been in the Lentsch family for generations and is very much the public face of the business(es).
The buildings are ancient, having originally been built by Cistercian Monks and referred to in old documents as the 'Ebenerdiges Schloss'. It was later the home of a Prussian Count and was then a hotel before being converted to a restaurant in 1934 by the first Josef Lentsch (the current one is Josef Lentsch 3rd).
The first Josef Lentsch decided as a youth to become an innkeeper and, in spite of all opposition, eventually succeeded. The restaurant is called Dankbarkeit, which means Gratitude, to mark the gratitude Josef the 1st must have felt at finally achieving his dream. As a result the restaurant is a place of special meaning.
Today, the gardens behind the main house are used in summer for the restaurant, a haven of peace and serenity. Eating here in summer beneath the shade of old trees is a real treat. An exceptional gourmet menu, based very much on local produce is the order of the day here. Fish from the lake and local beef and game feature prominently. To complement the menu there is of course the extensive winelist.
Grapes are grown on sandy soils near the eastern shores of the Neusiedlersee, some of the grapes are grown in Lentsch-owned vineyards, some are bought from other well-trusted suppliers. The quality of these wines is nothing short of amazing, sumptuous, lavish, opulent stickies which go on forever. Josef also makes still dry wines, all Pinot, including a fabulous oaked Pinot Gris which wins wide acclaim and a lovely seductive soft Pinot Noir.