The Austrian Wine Marketing Board (AWMB) sponsored an international gathering of wine industry professionals, who came and toured Austria’s wine country from the 30th of May to the 3rd of June. Some 165 wine journalists and critics, selected wine merchants and sommeliers – from a total of forty countries scattered all over the world – participated in the AWMB’s “Wine Summit” this year.
David McGovern, Sommelier at Le Bernardin, US
This was a really well organised, well-planned trip. It was jam-packed with highlights from start to finish; everything from vineyards and wineries to restaurants and food – just experiencing Austrian culture in general was great.
Anne Krebiehl, MW, Wine Enthusiast, UK
The Austrian Wine Party was a highlight because I got a chance to dress up. But quite apart from that I was really excited when I got the invitation to go to Styria, the one part of Austria I hadn’t visited. We flew into Graz and I was completely bowled over by the beauty of the language and by the diversity of wines we found in this relatively small region. I’m a great lover of Gelber Muskateller and I got to have my Steirischer G’spritzter, which I loved. We also had an amazing culinary experience at the restaurant Weinbank – probably the best meal I’ve had in a very, very long time due to its subtlety. It was cooking at the finest level without being pretentious. And the perfect contrast followed at the Buschenschank, where we just had the typical Brettljause. Styria is just one of those regions that is not as well known as it should be, but I hope it gets the recognition it deserves. It was incredibly beautiful.
Karsten Thurfjell, Swedish Radio, SE
You did it again – as expected!
As a participant in the Steiermark trip, I was continuously impressed by every moment, and especially pleased by the way you took us through an extended multi step analysis of Sauvignon Blanc - in relation to Austrian winemaking development and to the rest of the world, and not the least to the lovely Styrian cuisine! I also enjoyed the presence of fatter wines like Weissburgunder, and Rotgipfler in Thallern, as I was impressed by the Pinot Noirs there. I also had my fair share of strange but fun natural avant-garde, both in Graz and Vienna.
So when I was poured my last glass of orange and cloudy Grüner Veltliner – after the amazing row of more than a hundred - by this young gentleman at Palais Niederösterreich (see picture) I realized, in a state of exhaustion, that I once again had been through a new lifetime experience, to add to the earlier ones. Not to mention the study of new top notch wine hotels, and of course all your own personal hospitality!
Timo Jokinen, viintimo.fi, FI
This was my first time in Southern Styria – the lovely Sauvignon Blancs I tasted were amazing, as were the other white wines we had. I usually drink Grüner Veltliner and Riesling when I’m here, but I was very surprised by the quality of all grape varieties. Your wines have already been among the best in world for many years, but I have just made many new discoveries, which I shall keep with me. I do a lot of events with corporate clients, so I’m looking forward to talking about Austrian wines there, as well as in my columns.
Johnson Qu, Bon-Wine Culture Consulting Co. Ltd, CN
“We would like to express our gratitude on the behalf of Mr.Johnson Qu and Yang Fengyi at China Wine Information Website for the lovely Austrian wine trip. We are impressed by your exquisite arrangement and warm hospitality. Through our site we will make sure our readers have a glimpse of the glamour of Austrian wine as we had the pleasure of experiencing in the past few days. We wish that Austria could achieve even more in China.
Irina Kutkovskaya, Aromatniy Mir, RU
I had only visited Styria very briefly once before; now I could see this region in depth. It was very interesting for me – I understood very clearly, how and in what ways the combination of Sauvignon Blanc with the food of Styria is a perfect match. All of the cold dishes we could try at the Buschenschank were really something special, paired with the wines.
Stephen Brook, Journalist, UK
My trip to Styria was a reminder, how good the wines are there. We didn’t have any bad or boring wines – they ranged from good to very good. It is wonderful to see a whole region making wines of real purity, elegance and balance. I think a lot of them are world-class wines. At our blind tasting of Sauvignon Blancs I couldn’t tell which came from the famous French wine region the Loire, and which from Styria. Coming from me – a Francophile – that is a compliment! I also enjoyed the other grape varieties – Grauburgunder, Weissburgunder… I was very happy with the quality of the wines.
Shek Voon Jen, Cuisine & Wine ASIA, SG
“I would like to thank the entire team at the AWB for the meticulous care and precision in which the programme has been executed. The highlight for me was the GV tasting in Vienna, even though by 1645 hr the wines for Flight 19 were all finished.”
Suzie Chung, wine21.com, KR
I experienced the green landscape of Styria and I experienced the full flavour spectrum of food and wine – especially the authentic & original foods and wines. I see the future developments – with natural organic wine from Styria – and now I can articulate this story of Sauvignon Blanc from Styria. I am really happy with that.
Reva Singh, Sommelier India, IN
I really enjoyed our vineyard rally. Talking with and listening to winemakers in their own vineyards was very special. We got to know about their wines, tasted them, asked questions – and then off we went to the next estate. This way we visited three very different vineyards, which gave us a good overview about that particular part of Burgenland.
James Lawrence, Meininger’s, UK
This is my second trip to Austria. I first came in 2011; that visit was for an introductory presentation, so what has been fantastic for me is really getting to know one variety and one region – I guess the highlight is just getting to really understand Blaufränkisch. We had a lot of Blaufränkisch tastings; we really covered the entire spectrum. So the first time I came to Austria was wonderful because it was a real overview of a lot of the regions, but my highlight this time was a much better understanding about Blaufränkisch
Subhash Arora, President, Indian Wine Academy, IN
It was indeed a pleasure and a truly memorable visit to the Austrian Summit.
Thanks for the invite and for all of you being such wonderful host.
It was a beautifully organised event and my compliments to Willi Klinger for being a fabulous leader and the rest of the highly motivated team.
Axel Biesle, Journalist, DE
We enjoyed the best possible weather conditions... I had not previously travelled to destinations in the Weinviertel, and I had not yet experienced this polyculture, to observe that vineyards don’t grow there in isolation, but as part of a mixed agriculture with grain fields and livestock farming. To experience this, and to see the Ried Kirchbeg ¬– to drive through with the tractor – is certainly an experience that allows one to grow very close to the wine.
Carlin Karr, Beverage Director, Frasca Food and Wine, Inc, US
Thank you very much for a WONDERFUL trip. It was not only very enjoyable but also a highly enriching and educational experience. I cannot thank you enough.
Gurjit Singh Barry, AIWS, Global Business Development, IN
A big thank you to Mr. Klinger and the entire team at the AWMB who have tirelessly been baby sitting over 161 people from across the world for the last 6 days. The clock work like precision and the never fading smiles with which we have been received and taken care of till we reached home is super- extraordinary.
A team is as charged as the general on the top and we have observed this well during our trip. This trip has been educating & entertaining. I met some lovely people during this trip and thank you again for everything.
Heather Meyer, Winemonger, US
In all honestly, I cannot really thank you enough, because it was an invaluable experience for me.
While I had been to the Burgenland once before (only for a day), and Wien more than a couple times, this trip really solidified why I love Austrian wines, and gave me a much deeper understanding of what is happening right now in the world of wine there.
As I’m sure you know, being able to be in the vineyards and have a physical connection with the places where the wine comes from makes all the difference in the world when talking about these wines.
Jan Rosborn, Journalist, SE
Finally after a hectic week I have time to think about my trip to Austria. So here is a very sincere thank you for a most interesting trip. You and your colleges did as always a wonderful job. The program was very well put together and showed the diversity of the districts and the estates. As always I learned a lot, which is the very best I can say.
The local food is of course always also a highlight. Even more so when you can enjoy it in the company with wine people and have interesting discussions
Raymond Blake, Journalist, IE
I wanted to thank you for the recent Wine Summit. I have always said that the AWMB press visits are very well organised but this year exceeded all the past ones. It ran like clockwork and I found it very useful.