Charlemagne Wine Club - 2011 Tastings

Monday 18th April 2011
Austria presented by Linn Rothstein of Merry Widow Wine

Austria Archaeological evidence of grape growing in what is now Austria dates back 4000 years, and bronze Celtic wine flagons dating to the 5th century BC have been found near Salzburg. More recently, the Austrian wine industry was nearly wiped out by phylloxera in the 1880s, and then again by the glycol scandal a hundred years later. However, the scandal led to both tighter regulation of the industry and a shift from quantity to quality production. Today Austria lies 17th in the list of wine producing countries by volume, with 368 Austrian Wineries across 20 regions.

Grüner Veltliner is about a third of production, and other prominent local white wine grapes include Riesling, Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc), Welschriesling (unrelated to Riesling proper) & Chardonnay. Reds include local varietals Blaufränkisch & Zweigelt, as well as Pinot Noir, Blauer Portugieser, Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

Colsanti Linn Rothstein established Merry Widows Wine to distribute quality Austrian wines (some under her own brand) directly, at events and through retailers such as Waitrose. Her wines have won medals in Decanter & at the International Wine Fair.

Wines Tasted :
"Muskat Ottonel Bernd Heiling"
"Welschriesling Bernd Heiling"
"Rotgipfler Heinrich Hartl"
"Samling Bernd Heiling"
"St Laurent 2008 Heinrich Hartl"
"Zweigelt Heinrich Hartl"
"Zweigelt Reserve Heinrich Hartl"
"Samling TBA 2006 Bernd Heiling"