On Sunday 24th of October I took the post #EWBC trip to Weinviertel, Austria. The Weinviertel is Austria’s largest wine producing area and it’s main grape variety is Grüner Veltliner. Our first stop was the beautiful windmill just outside the town of Retz, where we had a short overview on the Weinviertel DAC system and were lucky enough to taste 12 Grüner’s. My favourite wine was the Weingutt Gschewicher Röschitz Reserve Grüner Veltliner 2009, lovely medium bodied wine with ripe stonefruit, white pepper and pear flavours.
After the tasting we visited the famous Retz wine cellars – some parts are as old as the town itself and were dug out in the late 13th century. The network of cellars grew as the soil composition (quartz sand) allowed for the (easy) digging of the cellars under previously built town houses. The cellars were originally dug directly into the sand and were neither supported nor brick-lined. Due to the permanently moist sand, the air humidity is constant at 88% in the cellars, and the temperature ranges between 8 to 10 degrees Celsius – which are ideal conditions for the storage of wine. Most of the cellars are still privately owned but about 5% have been opened to the public. To me, the cellar visit was taking down a trip into viticultural and wine making history and I really enjoyed seeing the different antique wine artefacts!
After the cellar visit we were treated to an awesome lunch at the Weiler Restaurant. The chef went out of his way to illustrate the diversity of the region’s flagship wines by pairing 4 international dishes with 7 of the region’s great Veltliners.
My favourite part of the trip was the afternoon visit to the Ewald Gruber family’s wine estate. Here we were piled into a big trailer and taken to one of the family’s vineyards, to harvest some Grüner for the first #EWBC wine ever! We were treated to another tasting in the vineyard and finished off the our visit by a tour of the Gruber winery.
A big thank you to Uli, the Weinviertel marketing board, the restaurant and the Gruber family for an awesome experience which will live on in my memories for a long long time to come!