June 2016 was super active month for Guns 2 Gewürztraminer. Before you wonder about the veracity of this claim- considering it has been more than a month since my latest post, this has been exactly the reason why! I was on a whirlwind tour to Austria and Italy, exploring the world of wine, barely finding time to awaken the mobile screen to capture the beautiful but fleeting moments. Moments that I am now well equipped to share in subsequent posts. As a start, I endeavour to give you a bird’s eye view of this wine journey through a route map and five collages coupled with summary description of what I call ” a picture perfect wine journey’.
1. VieVinum 2016
This grand Austrian wine fair happened in it’s 10th edition between 4-6 June 2016 with exclusive pre-event engagements for invitees. The fair has grown rapidly over the years and it showcases a mammoth range of Austrian wines along with some international presence. Organised under the aegis of the Austrian Wine Marketing Board (AWMB) it aims to promote Austrian wine industry in a focussed manner. Apart from tasting a 1000++ wines, the icing on the cake for me was to converse one-on-one with Mr. Wilhelm (Willi) Klinger, Managing Director Austrian Wine Marketing Board (see bottom right photo of the collage). The interview will appear shortly in print, as well as in this space.
2. Visiting Weingut Elfenhof, Rust, Burgenland
The picturesque town of Rust in Burgenland, Austria can easily be called a storybook quartier, replete with its floral promenades, a 315 km² lake Neusiedl and expansive vineyards peppered all across . Weingut Elfenhof is a 17th century winery of the region that produces a diverse range of quality wines. Ernst Holler, the current generation owner (seen in the collage with me) was kind enough to pick me up from Vienna and host me in his town for a day full of vineyard and winery action. The time flew just too fast…
3. Friuli- the under reported wine region of Italy
Even the folks in Friuli were pleasantly surprised that I chose the region for an elaborate itinerary when in general, the whole world thinks of Tuscany as their first choice of exploring the Italian wine country. But let me tell you- if you have not explored, wines like Ribolla Gialla, Friulano (earlier known as Tocai Friulano), Refosco, Tazzelanghe, Picolit, ‘Orange Wines’ and several others, it would be a good idea to do so at the earliest- as there is a whole wide world of enchanting wines lying out there. As for Tuscany, it was my next stop quite logically……
4. Banfi and Piccini- the Tuscan racehorses
The names need no introduction. Banfi- for their groundbreaking research on the Sangiovese vine to produce outstanding Brunello and Super Tuscan wines and Piccini- the distinctive ‘orange label’ producer of Chianti wines who have innovative wines like the pan-Italian blend called ‘Memoro’ in their portfolio. Oscillating between Florence, Siena and Montalcino, I was on a roll (much like the Tuscan slopes) to meet the owners, visit vineyards with winemakers and sample countless wines around choicest cuisine.
5. The sophisticated charm of Allegrini
Be it the high vineyards of the Valpolicella DOC, one of the top Amarones from the region, or a unique Brunello from their Tuscan vineyards , the house of Allegrini evokes acknowledged respect amongst winelovers. Hence it was only natural for me to visit them, given just a day’s schedule in the region. Meeting and conversing with their indefatigable owner Marilisa Allegrini in this short duration was nothing less than a stroke of luck.