By Austrian Wine, a certified “Good Food Fighter”
(A message from Willi Klinger, Head of the AWMB)
The Austrian Wine Marketing Board was officially established by the Austrian winemaking authorities at the end of 1986, to rebuild its image in light of the wine scandal. After 25 years of fruitful activities, the Austrian wine industry has succeeded in creating a high-profile image, as well as recording a continuous increase in sales growth, both in Austria and in export markets.
To celebrate Austrian Wine’s 25th anniversary, we are planning to hold a press conference, as well as a documentary, covering the past twenty-five years. We therefore kindly ask you – as our friends and partners – for your continued cooperation in the future, and we would really appreciate your comments or a brief statement about your experience with Austrian Wine for our birthday review.
Many thanks in advance,
An Interview With An Austrian Wine Importer
Austrian wines have exploded on to the wine scene in the past few years, but can often leave unfamiliar consumers confused and overwhelmed due to the plethora of Grüner Veltiner and Blaufränkisch wines – many organic, most from small, single vineyard plantings. One of the best resources Austrian wine consumers can turn to are those that import the wines – the ones that really know them inside and out, know the market and know the potential each has to become your new favorite wine.
This month we sat down with The Barterhouse, Inc. Here’s what they had to say:
Austrian Wine: What makes Austrian wine so unique? What makes it stand out from other regions?
Brian Dimarco: Austrian wine is something that was once a very “niche” wine not known to the rest of the world. The cold climate and diverse soil allow Austrian wine to take on everything from a crisp, mineral personality of a grüner to a smoky, creamy pinot noir or cabernet sauvignon. What people don’t know is how strict the wine rules of Austria are. If it isn’t good enough, it doesn’t get bottled. That allows us to distribute only the best from Austria and we are proud to do it.
AW: What influenced your decision to work with Austrian wines?
BD: As stated above, we wanted to help put Austria on the map. We believe in the superieur quality of the wines and want wine drinkers to be able to enjoy it with us.
AW: Which producers do you distribute? Highlights?
BD: We distribute Leo Hillinger (Burgenland), Anton Bauer and Paul Direder (anton’s protegé) from Wagram, Tegernseerhof (Wachau) and Steininger ( Kamptal). I can’t choose a favorite, we have such extraordinary wines from each producer, but Hillinger blaüfrankisch Leithberg and Tegernseerhof T26 grüner are standouts.
AW: What’s your favorite Austrian varietal? Region? Why?
BD: Grüner, definitely from any region. It’s the indigenous grape there and the best representation of the country as a wine making whole.
AW: What’s your favorite food & wine pairing for the season?
BD: Our favorite “traditional” pairing is of course, grüner and asparagus. We had a great lunch with one of the Steininger wine makers where she paired sparkling grüner (called Sekt in Austria) with asparagus and cod. It was amazing. We are also enjoying Anton Bauer’s Wagram pinot noir with a lovely prociuitto and fig flatbread served at Todd English’s Olives restaurant.
AW: Where do you see the future of Austrian wine heading?
BD: It is gaining a major foothold in the industry. A year ago, there wasn’t much to be said about it, but now Wine Specatator features it and there was just a three page spread in the latest issue of Tasting Table magazine.
AW: Anything else you’d like to add?
BD: Just try different wine regions, even if they aren’t well known. Austria has definitely proven that taste and word of mouth can catapult a country’s wine into the spotlight. You could easily find the next big thing in the back of a wine store.