Tuesday, May 24, 2011

House of Esterhazy Launches Line of Austrian Wines in U.S.

The string quartet filled the air with Mozart. The apfelstrudel was sublime. But most of all, there were the wines. Brought from the land of waltzes and Alps, from the land where Hayden is still remembered with reverence. The House of Esterhazy poured their line of wines at Austrian-themed restaurant Blaue Gans in lower Manhattan at a recent event for members of the press and wine trade.
The estate of the aristocratic Esterhazy family is a castle located just a short ride outside of Vienna. Visitors can tour the magnificent house as well as step down into the old wine cellars, which boast huge wooden casks that have beautiful carvings on their fa├žade. The contemporary winery is a short ride away. Here, glass and steel dominate the architecture, and this is where the modern wine-making magic happens.
I visited Esterhazy during the European Wine Bloggers Conference. Now the wines of this historic estate are available in the states. At the luncheon the following wines were poured:
- NV Blanc de Noirs – with a fresh nose of peaches, white pepper, and brioche, this was a refreshing sparkler
- 2010 Estoras Gruner Veltliner – from the Weinwertel region, this showed the signature peppery nose and flavors of Gruner, a good spring and summer wine
- 2008 Blaufrankisch Follig – a single vineyard wine with dark berries, grippy tannins
- 2008 Cuvee Trockenbeerenauslese – a dessert wine blended from Welchriesling and Pinot Blanc, with exotic fresh fruit flavors
I enjoyed the wines of this luncheon, and I can recommend Esterhazy as a fascinating destination for tourists who are visiting Vienna. One final note: while you can’t judge a book by its cover – or a wine by its label – I happen to love the Esterhazy wine labels. They feature historic paintings or artwork in a fresh modern design. Very much like the winery itself, which draws upon its centuries-old winemaking tradition while incorporating the best of current technology.

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