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Jessica Altieri Podcast - Austrian Spring Sipping

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Jessica Altieri Wine and Water Sommelier

Welcome to Wine Conversations with Jessica Altieri. I'm your host Jessica Altieri. CEO and Certified Sommelier of the Wine Channel TV Digital Network.

This is podcast number 18, Austrian Red Wine Spring Sipping on Thursday March 22nd, 2018. A glass of wine is just a conversation waiting to happen as I always say and today I am sipping some Wiener Trilogie Wieninger 2012, from Wieninger Estate in Vienna Austria, a blend comprised of 65% Zweigelt, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlotto get the conversation started!

Austria and red wine may not shack up together in your imagination. Unless you are a wine geek like me. I don't blush to say that you got to get up close and personal with that crisp Gruner Veltliner. It’s like jumping in the ocean for the first time all year during spring break. An Austrian jaw-dropper. But let that crisp sip introduce you to the seduction of Austrian wines. Right now put red Austrian varietals on your shopping list. Everyone drinks Pinot's and Syrah’s with springtime barbecues. Knock your crazy friends through a loop with this instant conversation starter. Let me give you a snapshot of Austrian red wines. They’re like the middle child of red wine varietals desperately longing to be out in front and so hungry for attention that they have to work twice as hard to grab notice.

With some new labels sprouting up in Washington, New York and even Jefferson's Virginia; these wines are filled with silky smooth black fruit, cherry, pepper and smoky earthy spicy notes. Take one sip and you'll be in heaven while you're doing your springtime grilling on the patio.

In honor of light spring breezes, I love serving this wine slightly chilled and don't forget to check out svelte. Austria's most planted red varietal. A combo of St. Laurent and blaufränkisch. This reminds me of a northern Rhone Syrah with its earthy black fruit and the silkiness you're looking for from a great burgundy and Pinot Noir.

These Austrian Reds will match up to your grilling masterpieces and make all your friends beg, salivating for more middle kid Austrian panache.

The last unforgettable kiss I had of some Austrian red wine was with Christoph Wachter of Winery Wachter Wiesler to kick off my sips of Austria wine channel TV tour. Winery Wachter Wiesler is a small wine region in Burgenland Austria. It’s included in the Eisenberg DAC regarded as one of the finest sights for producing blaufränkisch in Austria. The soils here are dense with a deeper layer of loam, resulting in darker, spicier wines with softer tannins. Christophe started winemaking early to support his parents and he took over the family business, Winery Wachter Wiesler in 2010 at the age of 20. Since his ownership of the winery, Christoph has been named newcomer of the year in 2014 by magazine gourmet. Winemaker of the year in 2014 by trophy gourmet a la carte and trendsetter of 2015 from vine USA, wine culture. His wines harvested from these steep slopes of Deutsch Schützen are clear, fruity, earthy wines with fascinating tannins resulting in distinctive wines with strong personality that have won countless awards. 

Christoph Wachter made the decision to begin harvesting oh natural. Meaning to avoid herbicides and pesticides entirely. This organic wine cultivation requires meticulous attention and deep care. As Christoph explains, no additives, the natural way. Processing with the aid of gravity, spontaneous fermentation with no yeasts, and gentle treatment during the entire fermentation process and storage in large wooden barrels. He mentions that they take in the cellar so far as possible. The wine does practically everything by itself. After a day of sipping and bike riding with Christoph, I ended my day in one of the most memorable ways that I still think about to this day.

I headed to the Wiener Riesenrad, a famous 200 foot tall Ferris wheel in Vienna Austria for the ultimate wine lifestyle experience. It was established in 1897 to celebrate the golden jubilee of Emperor Franz Josef the first. I was joined on the Ferris wheel by Fritz and Lisi vinegar, from vinegar wines. Three-star Michelin chef, Juan Amador and Stefan Shower from world-famous stud’s preserves. Let’s not forget how I was also serenaded by world-renowned tenor Michael Shade. Shade regularly performs at the Canadian Opera Company, Metropolitan Opera, Washington opera, opera Nationale de Paris, San Francisco Opera, Hamburg State Opera, The ferris wheel can be reserved for romantic candlelit dinners, including a three-course meal and two bottles of wine. Let's not forget about the time I got to cruise down the Danube River with Christine M Berger of the Wachowski cruise line. 

The ship cruise to the UNESCO World Heritage landscape of the Wachau Valley. One of the most beautiful and breathtaking stretches of the river valley in Europe. The Wachau valley vineyards are primarily grown along Riverside terraces. Featuring unique soil and climate conditions. The influence of the Danube River produces a mix of warm and cool breezes. The Wachau valley wine region extends on both sides of the Danube River around the charming old wine town of crèmes. Wine has been grown in the region around crèmes for centuries. This is known as the Eastern Gateway to the Wachau Valley.

The ship sails between cremes and milk, passing enchanting scenes of medieval castles, arming villages, and world-class vineyards. Also nestled in the UNESCO world heritage landscape is winery Winzer Krems. I visited with Ludwig Holzer, the export manager of winery Winzer in Austria while I was there. Winzer Krems is located just 40 miles west of Austria's capital Vienna. The wineries nestled in the UNESCO world heritage landscape of the Wachau valley. One of the most beautiful and breathtaking stretches of river valley in Europe. Winery Winzer Krems vineyards are lined along sun-exposed primary rock and terraces featuring special soil and climate conditions. The influence of the Danube River produces a mix of warm and cool breezes. Winzer Krems is one of the most significant producers and exporters of a state bottled wine from Austria. The estate is owned by 981 wine growers, who grow their grapes in 990 Hector's in cremes and the surrounding wine-growing regions. Gruner Veltliner, Austria's most prevalent grape variety, makes up more than 50 percent of Winzer Krems average harvest. 

The grapes are rushed to the cellar for strict quality control. The winemaking process is performed with the traditional old wooden press and then fed into stainless tanks and fermented in a temperature controlled process. Winzer Krems hard work pays off. In July 2016, wine enthusiast magazine featured high ratings for two Winzer Krems wines. Wine growing in the cremes region can be traced back more than two thousand years to grapes harvested in the 3rd century AD, under the Roman Emperor Probus. Make sure to visit winechanneltv.com for these exclusive featured wine video segments from Austria. 

As I always say wine is just a conversation waiting to happen and I look forwards to sharing a conversation with you again soon, Cheers.  

 

Jessica Altieri