Finding myself recently in the Austrian wine country, what could I do but…. Taste some of the local specialties?
This is in part the fault of Willi Klinger, I want you to know, who I met in Firenze in May as he conducted a lunch time degustazione of Austrian wines during the Masters of Wine Symposium.
Willi, who has a huge personality and wit, and is the best ambassador for his homeland’s vino, has a link to Italy: he worked with Angelo Gaja for years. But I digress.
Why did I find myself in Burgenland, you ask. I had come to see Fiddler on the Roof (they dubbed it ‘Anatevka’) in summer theater in Mörbisch on the eastern side of Austria, near the Hungarian border, as my dear friend David Levi was conducting. Fiddler in German in Austria on the side of a lake – now that was something I had to see! On the See, the Neusiedler See. But I digress.
We stayed in nearby Eisenstadt, which had been home to the Hungarian Eszterházy family, that noble family that also sponsored Hadyn here at their main schloss. But alas, I digress.
So, getting down to business, I asked locals to direct me to the Wiengut Hans Moser, and there was met by Mr. Moser himself who guided us through some of his fine vintages.
A wonderful way to spend a Sunday morning…
Having acquired some whites (sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and a new wine called Harys – Syrah spelled backwards!) and some reds (Merlot, but also the distinctive Blaufrankïsch) to keep the taste buds happy through the coming months, Mr. Moser kindly offered a sample of Osterreich Wein (noting that Wein – wine – and Wien – Vienna) are one and the same! Vienna is probably the only metropolis in the world to have vineyards in the city limits, and the famous heuriger at this time of year are a delight!
As Mr. Moser rightly points out in his friendly, welcoming way: It’s time for wine!!