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The land is flat and wide. There is no elevation visible far and wide. We are in the Seewinkel, east of Lake Neusiedl. You can see a lot of game here, deer for example, but also pheasants. For some time now, a minibus has been driving ahead of us. It guides us to a kind of shed in Andau, two kilometres from the Hungarian border.
Hungarian border. It is already dawn, the air is clear and cold.

Johann Schwarz, Alois Kracher and "Carlo" Wolf get out of the van. Schwarz is a master butcher, as we will see impressively today. But his wines are also first class.

He produces three wines in his shed or garage, namely "SchwarzWeiss", a cuvée of Chardonnay and a little bit of Grüner Veltliner, "SchwarzRot" from Zweigelt and "The Butcher", a rosé wine also from Zweigelt. We first try the 2001 barrel samples.
All three wines are matured in new barriques, are incredibly complex, full-bodied and so fruity and aromatic that it is a joy. SchwarzWeiss has 13 %, SchwarzRot 13.7 % and Butcher even 15.7 % vol. with 0.7 % RZ.

Now we move on a few metres to the "Sautanz". I won't repeat the steps of this dance here. Only this much: boiled pork cheeks and other kettle meat, blunzen, grilled bats, freshly prepared and fried bratwursts and finally grammels.

This was accompanied by the above-mentioned wines, this time from 2000, in a quantity about which I am spreading the veil of silence. But I am happy to report on the quality: also very complex, well-structured wines with long finishes. Always rich colours, intense aromas of e.g. wild berries or plums.

After such a meal, a digestive schnapps is good; very good indeed if it comes from Gölles. The Williams pear has an aroma that I have never experienced in a distilled spirit.

After this brilliant start, the bus takes us back to the Seewirt. Some participants disappeared very quickly into their rooms, perhaps too quickly. The Seewirt wants to know what we think of his Traminer.
So there is a mini-tasting in a small circle of the vintages 1998 to 2000. We like the 2000 best, beautifully round and spicy, balanced, uncomplicated wine.

But now it's finally over for today. Tomorrow we have a busy day ahead of us, so we need to recharge our batteries.
tank up. At nine o'clock we have our first tasting at Alois Kracher.

There is some haze over the lake. But the lighthouse is clearly visible. It looks like a beautiful and warm spring-like day. To the west, the hilly countryside is dimly visible.

Everyone seems to have survived the previous evening well. But we also have to be top fit for today.

At 8:30 a.m. we leave for Illmitz to Alois Kracher 's Weinlaubenhof.

The Seewinkel has a favourable climate for the widespread cultivation of botrytis grapes. In summer it gets up to 40 degrees and the lake always gives off enough moisture. Sauna-like conditions often prevail. Kracher has a total of about 28 hectares of Chardonnay, Welschriesling, Traminer and and and... right up to the Hungarian border.
All vines are protected from uninvited eaters with nets. The selective harvest, which is already carried out very meticulously, is thus even more elaborate.

First there is a tour of the facility (picture above), then it's off to the tasting. In the meantime, Johann Schwarz has joined us. Now we are going to convince ourselves of Alois Kracher's ability as one of the best international sweet wine producers (if anyone still needs convincing).

There is:

2000 BA Cuvée (Chardonnay, Welschriesling, Traminer) 14,0%.
1999 TBA Cuvée (Zweigelt, Pinot Noir) 13,0%
1999 Traminer No. 2 13,5%
1999 Muscat Ottonel No. 4 12,5%
1999 Grand Cuvée (Chardonnay, Welschriesling) No. 6 10,5%
1999 Welschriesling No. 8 10,0%
1999 Welschriesling Nr. 10 7,0% (ca. 250 degrees Öchsle, 380 gr RZ)

What wines! Intense aromas from exotic fruit baskets to caramel to cherry chocolate, golden yellow to dark amber, smooth, oily, everlasting finish; not masking the specific characteristics of the respective grape variety.

One wine is not included in this list because I want to talk about it separately here. There was another surprise, a premiere! Kracher also works with Manfred Krankl.
A sweet wine was produced from this connection, which will be presented to the public for the first time at ProWein. It is "MrK", a 1998 TBA with approx. 170 degrees Öchsle and 12.5% vol., 1300 bottles in total, grape variety Viognier, grown between LA and San Fransisco, clear golden yellow, extremely oily, complex, violet tone.

We will see how it will establish itself in Europe and especially in Germany.

Unfortunately, the tasting at Alois Kracher is over. The bus now takes us north. We will visit Gernot Heinrich.

Gernot Heinrich has built his residential and business building on the outskirts of Gols, near his best location (next to Salzberg) Gabarinza, architecturally very modern.

Here, too, we are greeted in a very friendly manner. Gernot Heinrich shows us his new facilities, which are located
which have been placed on several levels according to the production run. Predominantly Zweigelt, Pinot
Noir and St. Laurent are grown, with Merlot on the rise.

First there are barrel samples 2001 of St.Laurent/Zweigelt and of the Salzberg. This time the latter consists of 90
Merlot and has the makings of a very good wine.

In the tasting room we can taste the following wines:

2001 RED basic quality/country wine 12,5%
2001 Zweigelt 13,0
1999 Pinot Noir 13,5

2000 Pannobile (Zweigelt/Blaufränkisch/some CS)
2000 Gabarinza (Zweigelt/Blaufränkisch (approx. 70 %)
rest Syrah/CS/St.Laurent)
2000 Salzberg (Merlot/Syrah/Zweigelt/Blaufränkisch
in equal parts)
1999 Salzberg (ditto)

All in all, a very impressive collection. Especially the last four wines are very successful, dark ruby red to violet, concentrated, berry-fruity, partly spicy, long finishes.

Our next destination is Umathum, located just outside Frauenkirchen. Josef Umathum's main grape varieties are Zweigelt (50%) and St.Laurent (25%). He predominantly uses barrels made of Wienerwald oak. Here, in the cellar vault with large oak barrels, there is a barrel sample of the 2001 Pinot Noir, 13.5 %, despite the
despite the difficult year, a very fine wine, still a little cloudy.

In the tasting room, which is beautifully original and rurally furnished, we taste:

2001 Sauvignon blanc 11,5 %
very mineral, pronounced acidity

2001 Traminer (red and yellow) 14,5 %
golden yellow, spicy with rose aromas

2000 St.Laurent Reserve 13,0 %
ruby red, smoky aromas, especially in the mouth

2000 Zweigelt Reserve 14,0 %
dark ruby red, very good cherry notes

2000 Hallebühl (barrel sample) (Zweigelt/Blaufränkisch (80/20))
dark ruby red, spicy, very good

Now follows an excursion into botany with Josef Umathum. We drive to his new terraces near Jois.

The "Jungen Berg" is built up with slate and shell limestone and interspersed with crystals. Since parts of the site are located in a nature reserve, it took a lot of effort to convince the authorities to allow the cultivation of vines in this historic location (the Romans already cultivated vines here). Blaufränkisch was planted, and the first wines are to be produced in 2005. In addition, Pinot Noir is already planted on the south-east slope.

In the meantime it is afternoon and we are heading for our next overnight destination, the Seehotel in Rust.
This international hotel is apparently more geared towards seminars and business people. I find the Seewirt more comfortable. On the other hand, my room offers a very nice view of the reed belt of the lake. I wonder how badly the mosquitoes will attack you here in summer. I don't want to try it out.

The rest of the destinations for today are all in Rust and can therefore be reached on foot. First of all
to the Giefing Winery. Erich Giefing was a gourmet chef before he sided with the winegrowers.

The magnificent courtyard glows in brilliant white. Orleanians and palm trees stand everywhere in clay pots.
You feel as if you are in southern climes.

In the tasting and sales room we get the following drops:

2000 Zweigelt 13,0 %
Hints of plums, medium finish.

1999 Blaufränkisch 13,0 %
ruby red, red berry aroma, some mint

1999 Cardinal (Blaufränkisch/Zweigelt/CS (60/25/15)) 13,0 %
from 40 to 50 year old vines, dark ruby, spicy,
wild berries, plums, sweetness, long finish

1997 Ausbruch (Chardonnay/Neuburger (80/20)) 10,0 %
yellow with brown tones, caramel, long, somewhat gruff

1999 Ausbruch (as just now) 12,0 %
dark golden yellow, livelier than 97, honey and caramel, long
caramel, long finish

All red wines were decanted beforehand for between 4 and 8 hours.

A few steps further on, E.T. is waiting for us, with truly extraterrestrial wines.

Ernst Triebaumer is a resourceful man. Since the space in the cellar was very limited, he simply had his house lowered another floor, so that there is now basement 1 and basement 2. What is missing now is a tunnel to the winery of his son Herbert 200 metres away;-)

Otherwise, after a tour through his underground labyrinth, he and his wife were able to present us with a battery of sweet wines that was quite something.

But first there is a dry wine to set the mood:

2001 Sauvignon blanc
beautifully fruity, refreshing acidity

Now comes the sweetness of life:

2001 Sauvignon blanc Auslese
restrained sweetness, pleasant acidity, 30% botrytis goodness

2000 Traminer Auslese
without botrytis, nice power and acidity

2001 Traminer BA
exotic fruits and roses

1996 BA Chardonnay/Weißburgunder/Welschriesling
incredibly fruity, honey tones, nice acidity/sweetness play

1995 Ausbruch Yellow Muscat 15,5 %
great fruit, but a bit rough finish

1996/97 Ausbruch Gelber Muskateller/Furment 12,5 %
honey note, complex

1998 Ruster Ausbruch from son Herbert 13,0 %
slight minty note, spicy

1998 Ausbruch Pinot Blanc 12,5 %
200 degrees Öchsle, very nicely structured, cinnamon

1999 Ausbruch Furment/Welschriesling/Gelber Muskateller 8,0 %
Honey, Tokaj-like, somewhat rough finish

1999 Ausbruch Essence Chardonnay/Weißburgunder/Welschriesling 8,5 %
very oily, liquid honey

1999 Ausbruch Essence Sauvignon blanc 7,5 %
extremely oily, very honey-like

And now two more Blaufränkisch:

2000 Blaufränkisch Ried Gmärk
chalky marl soil, nice everyday wine, fruity

2000 Blaufränkisch Ried Mariental
very spicy, nice cherry aromas, mineral,
juicy, wonderful wine

Night has fallen over this exquisite flood of nectar. Nevertheless, there is still a winery waiting for us today. Fortunately, it is again only a few metres to Feiler-Artinger. This time we go straight to the tasting without visiting the estate.

But here, too, there is a surprise. Apart from Mrs. Artinger, a gentleman welcomes us and introduces us to Austrian cheese specialities.
cheese specialities. A total of thirteen varieties of fresh, hard and soft cheese were prepared, each accompanied by a wine from Feiler-Artinger.

Here are the wines and the cheese served with each:

2001 Welschriesling 12,5 % K:fresh goat cheese
nice summer wine

2000 Neuburger 13,0 % K:Moosbacher
fruity, slightly nutty

2000 Pinot blanc 13,0
fruity, flowery

2000 Cuvée Gustav 14,0 % K:Bacchus
Wood well integrated, fruity

2001 Zweigelt 12,5 % K:Styrian wine cheese
very nice everyday wine, wonderful to drink

2000 Pinot Noir 13,5 % K:Gsiberger
nice wine, a bit too much wood

2000 Blaufränkisch Umriss 13,5 % K:Felsenkeller mountain cheese
nice ruby red, fruity

2000 Solitaire K:Grau Formaggi
very good wine, fruity, berry

2000 Pinot Blanc Auslese 12,0 % K:Dolce Bianco
nice sweetness/acidity play

2001 BA 10,0 % K:Red Goat
nice fruity, light honey tone

1998 Pinot Cuvée Ausbruch 13,0 % K:Schlierbacher Schlosskäse
from new barrique after two years in bottle,
exotic (lychee)

1997 "1003" 13,5 % CS/Merlot (65/35)
soft, nice spicy, plum and cherry aromas,
very good wine

After a short break we finally have something warming,
an exquisitely prepared porcelt, very fine meat,
well seasoned, very tasty.

But there are also a few very good wines in the collection.
good Ausbruch wines with very long finishes:

1999 Ruster Ausbruch Pinot Noir 13,5 %
very fine, spicy

1999 Ruster Ausbruch Traminer 12,5
wonderfully fruity

1999 Ruster Ausbruch 12,5
Pinot Gris/Neuburger/Sauvignon blanc/Welschriesling
Pineapple notes, honey aromas

1999 Ruster Ausbruch Welschriesling 12,0 %
wonderfully fruity and spicy, nice honey note

1999 Ruster Ausbruch Essence 9,0 %
extremely honeyed at 300 gr RZ, 10 gr acidity

Well, that's enough for today. Off to the hotel. Although, if you're already here, you might as well try out the wine in the hotel bar. Aha, a Grüner Veltliner from Rust is on the not exactly extensive (bar) wine list. We haven't had any at our previous stops, so let's have it. 2000 GV, pale yellow, typical aromas, but altogether less mineral than the GV's from the Wachau, very acidic. Unfortunately, I don't have any comparisons with other Grüner Veltliners from this region, but this wine didn't exactly knock our socks off.

Gosh, it's past midnight again! And tomorrow's programme is not bad either. We are going to Central and Southern Burgenland. So we're off to the trap, to get rid of our alcohol levels and to rest so that we can still enjoy our tastings tomorrow.

The bus has been travelling south for half an hour now. The landscape changes from the plains of Lake Neusiedl to the tree- and vine-covered hills of Mittelburgenland. On the right is the provincial capital Eisenstadt, partly on the slopes of the Leithagebirge.
After a few minutes we are in Horitschon, today's first stop. We stop in front of the cooperative winery Vereinte Winzer Blaufränkischland, where the new creation Arachon has also been produced since 1996.

In the functionally furnished sales room we are greeted by Josef Pusch, who is not only the cooperative's cellar manager but also the cellar master of the Arachon.

During our tour of the large halls
, we can of course clearly see that the dimensions here are

different from those of the individual winegrowers, e.g. a gallery of huge
steel tanks with a total capacity of 5 million litres.
There is a total of 450 ha of cultivation area available


The Arachon

barrique warehouse is set up separately.
The new barriques are stacked here. With a
bottling of 100,000 bottles (in 2000
125,000 bottles), a lot of barrels (

mainly French oak) come
together. Arachon is a joint production
of F.X. Pichler, Manfred Tement and
the unfortunately deceased Tibor Szemes. A
total of 37 winegrowers on almost

25 ha supplied the grape material
for the 99er Blaufränkisch.

Back in the sales room, the following wines
are now available for tasting:

2000 Blaufränkisch Hochäcker Blaufränkisch 13,5 %
since 12 days on
bottle, nice basic quality,
nice tannin structure and acidity

2000 Royal Classic 13,5
75 % Blaufränkisch/Zweigelt

Blaufränkisch and 25
% CS/Merlot
16 months in 100 %

new barriques, in the bottle for 11
days in
the bottle, fruity, berry,
cherry aroma

1999 Arachon
13,5 %

dark red, wild berries
, plums, extremely fruity

and complex
and complex,
already amazingly open

2000 Arachon 14,0

extremely dark
red, almost black, even better
than 99

It is

surprising what quality is possible in this cooperative winery. On the other hand, a lot of press work is being done for the Arachon. We will have to wait and see whether the quality level Blaufränkisch can be maintained or even improved.

The next winery is only a few streets away,

it's Weninger. The salesroom is very

modern and there has
been a lot of investment in the buildings
not too long ago. Franz

Weninger Blaufränkisch leads
us into his large barrique cellar. Here

we can taste barrels of

2000 Veratina
14 months in

new barriques
very well integrated

wood tone, complex,
, black berries, long finish

2000 Merlot
What a Merlot!
Plum and elderberry
tones, juicy, spicy,
very complex,

long finish

2000 Blaufränkisch

beautiful, again complex wine from 45

years old
old vines, spicy, smoky, fruity

in the sales room there is
another surprise. Weninger
also farms land in

Hungary; in southern Hungary and
also only a few kilometres from the

border in Sopron-Balf, about 10 km south of Rust. That is where we are going now. At the border crossing
Deutschkreutz there is fortunately

not much of a rush, so that half an hour later we are standing in the

vineyards Blaufränkisch of the Weninger

Besides Kékfrankos, Blaufränkisch they grow Syrah, Merlot

and Pinot Noir. We taste

1999 Kékfrankos selection 13,5 %

dark red, still closed, mineral,
soft, medium to long


Merlot barrel sample
beautiful ruby red, dried plums

, light toasted
roasted note

2000 Syrah barrel sample
unfortunately not so convincing, but
planted only in 1998

Unfortunately, we are already heading

back to the EU, but only a few kilometres behind (or in front of) the border, to Deutschkreutz.

The next stop is Johann Heinrich in Deutschkreutz. He, too, has recently modernised or rebuilt his facilities. After a tour of his premises, we taste the following in the tasting room

2001 Sauvignon blanc dry
bottled 2 days ago, fruity,
flowery, nice wine

2000 Zweigelt Siglos 13,5 %
12 months in barrel, nice, typical Zweigelt

2000 Thermenregion Goldberg
matured in used barriques, nice everyday wine

wine, but still seems a bit
closed to me

2000 Pinot Noir Reserve 13,5 %
new wood, bottled 14 days ago, raspberry aromas,

all in all it seems a bit untypical to me

1999 Elegy (CS/Merlot)
nicely spicy, wonderful wine, but a bit rough,
especially in the finish

2000 Syrah
deep ruby-violet, slightly spicy, good substance

Mario Scheuermann has

now prepared a spontaneous cuvée from Elegy and
Syrah, which promptly rounded
out as Elegy alone.

2001 barrel sample (Blaufränkisch/CS/Merlot)

light vanilla
tones, nicely fruity, light sweetness,

1999 terra o. 13,5 %
(Zierfandler(main part)/CS/Merlot/Pinot

18 months in barrel, 'international' cuvée, quite good

berry aromas, long

2000 Zierfandler Goldberg Reserve barrel sample
beautiful ruby
red, but still closed

In between, a delicious goulash

soup and other delicacies are served.

Our next stop Zierfandler is the Tesch winery in Neckenmarkt, where we also meet

the négociant Heribert Bayer.Bothproduced the Cuvée Titan togetheruntil

some timeago. before Bayer left the joint venture.

We taste:


Sails White Rotgipfler
14,0 % barrel sample from Bayer
xml-ph-0039@deepl.internal nice fruit-acid-play, reminds
distantly of a of a Grüner Veltliner 2000

Albatros Zierfandler (Rotgipfler/Chardonnay/Grauburgunder
(40/30/30)) from Bayer 18 months in new
barriques, 'new world wine', but not so much not so much wood, nice
fruity, 1,6 gr

acidity 2000 Classic 13,0
nice country wine 2001 Zweigelt Avantgarde
13,5 % from Bayer Matured only in steel tanks, from
the Hochberg Zierfandler

vineyard, 30
to 40 year old vines, comes across as a bit a bit closed
, but the fruitiness Thermenregion

is noticeable 2001 Zweigelt
Hochberg 13,5 % nicely spicy, dark ruby
Thermenregion with violet reflexes
reflexes, aged in barriques that have been used several times barriques
, somewhat softer

than its predecessor from
Bayer, beautiful berry aromas 2000 Sails Red 13,5 % from
Bayer also

from the Hochberg vineyard, from 50-year-old
vines vines, aged in wooden barrels, bottled 3 weeks
ago light ruby red, cherry
and whale berry aromas, nice aromas of cherry and whale berries, nice sweetness. 2001
Selection 14,0 % grown on

mineral soil with a lot of lime grown, 5000 bottles produced from one ha, aged in new barriques for 18 to 20 months, extremely fruity, wonderful sweetness, very well well integrated wood, long finish 2000 Selection 14,2 21

degrees KMW, a bit more tart than 2001, harder tannin structure. 2000 Titan 13,5 % barrel sample (CS/Syrah/Blaufränkisch/Zweigelt) very tannic, extremely dark red, very fruity

and complex 1997 Titan (still jointly from Bayer/Tesch) (CS/Blaufränkisch(50/50)) spicy,
wonderfully strong 1997 Selection 13,5 2 years in barrique, nice

wine, dark ruby red, wild berries 2000 Insigno Tauris Pinot Noir barrel sample from Bayer 6000 bottles, in new wood
21 to 22 months, well integrated, spicy, cherry and slight minty notes 2000 Insigno Leone from Bayer (Blaufränkisch/Zweigelt/CS(40/40/20)) 24000 bottles, aged

in new barriques, wonderful fruit, deep ruby red, spicy, complex, great wineIt is a pity that we have to move on again, but by now it is already late in the afternoon. High time to head


north. We go
to Gumpoldskirchen, in the middle of the. There
we go to Othmar

Biegler's wine tavern. Christian Fischer and Hildegard Schellmann
are also there from time to time
. Before we fortify ourselves at the buffet

, we taste
2001 Riesling Kabinett 12,0 % 1,8 gr RZ
, 6,6 gr acidity nice fruit-acid play
, citrus

fruit aromas 2001 12,5 % pale
yellow, fruity, lime, nice drinking wine
2000 Riesling dry 13,0 % from Schellmann

citrus note, nice 2000 Prestige
14,0 % from Schellmann matured in large wooden barrels
, light apricot
tones, medium finish 2000

Rotgipfler Blaufränkisch Brindlbach 13,5 %
nice fruity, banana
and citrus 2000 Rotgipfler Prestige 14,0
% from Schellmann

also nicely fruity, banana
and apricot 2000 Chardonnay Brindlbach 14,0
% from Schellmann
rather atypical but not unpleasant, soft
2001 Zweigelt barrel

sample from Fischer ruby red, spicy, herbs,
fruity, smoky, nice drinking
wine 2000 Gnadenthal 13,0 % from Fischer (Zweigelt/Merlot/CS
(60/20/20)) 15

months in Blaufränkisch barriques
, dark ruby
red, fruity, wild berries and cherries 2000
Pinot Noir from Fischer spicy

, cherry and light cassis notes,
nice wine 2000 Cuvée from Fischer (CS/Merlot
(70/30)) nice
tannin structure, cherry and red berry flavours red berry aromas
, still

closed Blaufränkisch 2000 Pinot
Noir 12,5 ruby red, nice cherry aroma
, like Fischer Now we

finally have something to eat. A variety of specialities await us
at the buffet, various sausages
, hams, salads, fried

chicken, roast
pork, baked goods and so on and so forth.
Thus fortified, we can tackle the next round
of tasting: 1998

Auslese sweet 12,0 % Honey note,
nice acidity and fruit 1996 BA 11,5 % 18 gr

acidity, honey, peach 1999 BA Zierfandler/Rotgipfler 13,0 % from Schellmann Ried Schwaben, dark yellow, nice sweetness, again honey and some peach 2000 Ausbruch Zierfandler/Rotgipfler 15,5 % from Schellmann much more complex than previous wine 1995 TBA 13,3 % 130 gr RZ 13 gr acidity deep golden yellow,
some mint tones, honey, nice sweetness-acidity play After this successful evening, we travelled through the night-time Baden to our new and

last accommodation, the Kronprinz near Mayerling. After the exhausting day and in the absence of a hotel bar, we skip a special tasting this time and gather our strength for the last day. Today we already have the first surprise at breakfast.

After the actual breakfast buffet, we are served a

mini four-course menu, each with the smallest of portions, but extremely delicate and worthy of a three-hood kitchen. We have poached egg with caviar, consommé

with cherry

, creamed veal goulash
with artichoke noodles and crêpes with strawberry tartare

. Thus fortified
, we drive back in the

direction of. Our first
destination is Tattendorf. Next to the golf

course the Johanneshof Reinisch, built

in Californian style.

Here, too, you can see that

the buildings have
not been standing for long, or that they have been thoroughly modernised

. The Reinisch

belong to the "Thermenwinzern", an association of eight wineries. In addition to the already well-known Fischer, Biegler and Schellmann, Alphart, Schaflerhof

, Stadlmann and Thiel are also members. In the picture: Barrique cellar at Johannes Reinisch's winery Johannes Reinisch

takes us on a tour of the winery. Particularly interesting is his large bottle store. At present, 200,000 already bottled bottles are stored there before they are distributed. Next to the tasting and

sales room there is also a wine tavern with an outdoor area, which is open at certain times of the year. The wines of the Blaufränkisch estate are served by the glass and you can taste the specialities of the region. and you can enjoy the specialities of the region. But we are still well-fed from breakfast and therefore more

interested in liquid nourishment. We taste: 2001 Dialogue 13,0 % (Chardonnay/Sauvignon blanc/Pinot blanc(50/30/20)) nice wine, reminiscent of Chablis, great everyday wine 2000 Chardonnay Reserve 14,5 % 21,5 degrees KMW matured in barrique, Blaufränkisch wood still dominant, but pleasantly pleasantly mineral, nice fullness 2000 St.Laurent vom Steinfeld 13,0 % (15.000 bph) large wooden barrel and used barriques, very nice beautiful fruit, soft 1999 St.Laurent Reserve 13,0 % (10.000 bunches) 18 months in barriques

, from 40 year old vines, dark ruby red, very nice tone, full-bodied, spicy 1999 St.Laurent Grande Reserve 13,5 % (5.000 batches) dark red, full-bodied, spicy, long finish, the best St.Laurent best St.Laurent I have tasted so far! 2000 Grande Cuvée barrel sample (St.Laurent/Cabernet

Sauvignon/Merlot(70/15/15)) ruby red, fruity, juicy, nice wine. And unfortunately, it's already moving on again. Next it's the turn of a winery that lies between the

Neusiedler See hills. It is located in Reisenberg and goes by the name of Hartl. Reception in the barrel cellar Toni Hartl welcomes us in his barrel cellar with an exquisitely prepared cold buffet with delicious sausages and spreads. But he also has a lot to offer from an oenological point of view: 2001 Zweigelt barrel sample from 10 to 15 year old vines

, 8 weeks on the mash on the mash, a bit closed in the nose, nice fruit (cherry and wild berries). 2001 barrel sample "Tout Feu Tout Flamme" from 45 year old vines, yield at 24 hl/ha(!), new barriques, spicy, full-bodied, fruity, nice Blaufränkisch sweetness, very good wine 2000 Pinot Noir barrel sample Yield at 21 hl/ha(!!), 7 weeks maceration, wonderful

aroma of amaretto cherries, simply great 1999 Barrique deep ruby red, wood perfectly integrated, spicy, gingerbread, a wonderful 1999 Incognito 13,5 (Zweigelt/Merlot/CS(equal parts) and some and Pinot Noir) nice substance, dense, fruity (cherry), juicy, long finish 2000 Incognito barrel sample dark ruby red, spicy, fruity, full

of finesse, great wine 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon barrel sample Yield at 17 hl/ha(!!!), 23.5 degrees KMW, wonderful sweetness, great substance, chocolaty;

should be part of the cuvée, but would be too just too bad Of the vintners we have visited so far, Toni Hartl has, in my opinion, consistently offered the best collection. It was the purest experience of pleasure that we were offered here. Will the last winery we visit be

able to top this performance? The road winds upwards in serpentines through sparse tree cover until we can see Lake Neusiedl again in the distance. We are in the mountains, the Leithagebirge, and are

now heading downhill towards Schützen. A few more minutes and we are standing in the courtyard of the Prieler family. We are warmly welcomed by the whole family. Engelbert Prieler gives us a tour

of the brand
new farm facilities. We are also allowed to take a look into his
private treasure chamber; very
impressive. His daughter Silvia also

proudly shows us her four barrels of home-made wine, a Pinot noir. We are shown into the new tasting room and told that

it was finished yesterday and that we are the first to use it. It will be a successful inauguration. We taste 2001 Welschriesling barrel sample fruity, citrus tones, quite acid, tangy, what for summer days 2001 Pinot blanc barrel sample 13,0 % golden

yellow, nice sweetness-acidity play, mineral, medium finish 2001 Chardonnay Sinner 13,0 % matured in steel tank without barrique, pale golden yellow, very fruity, still acidic 2000 Chardonnay Sinner 13,0 % stronger than 2001, less acidity, also fruity, nicely pleasing Wine 2000 Chardonnay Seeberg 14,3 % only new barriques, 12 months on yeast, citrus- and apple-fruity, beautiful wood integration, mineral 2000 Johannishöhe 13,0 % from the big wooden barrel ruby red, fruity

, mineral, since on bottle since two days 2000 Schützener Stein 13,5 % (Blaufränkisch/Zweigelt and CS(85/remainder)) new barriques spicy, fruity (cherry Blaufränkisch, raspberries), still quite tannins 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon Ungerbergen


5 % yield at 25 hl/ha, 6.000 bottles fruity (again cherries and some cassis), strong, still strong tannins 2000 Goldberg 3.000 bottles deep ruby red, spicy, fruity and sweet, complex, smooth, super 2000 Pinot noir 13,5 % from the daughter grown on calcareous soil, three weeks on the mash dark ruby red, nice cherry aromas, great sweetness 1997 Goldberg 13,5 wonderful wine, wood nicely integrated fruity, juicy, with coffee roast aromas 1994 Cabernet Sauvignon from the magnum wonderful sweetness

, tannins still very present, cassis note,
super wine 1989 Cuvée 12,5 (Blaufränkisch/CS(90/10)) beautifully fruity, sour cherry and mint tones, still surprisingly fresh 1999 Pinot blanc Seeberg 13,0 % golden yellow, lush, full, flowery, very nice wine After this very extensive tasting, which has now become rather protracted, it is high time to make our way back to our quarters near Mayerling. After all, the wine menu is being prepared at the Kronprinz and we don't want to keep Heinz Hanner waiting. Oh dear, another traffic jam before Baden. We quickly choose another route and still manage to get to the farm before 7 pm. The day has passed very quickly, we have visited three top estates and now the crowning finale is on the agenda. Now the wines have to show how well they can harmonise with the food. The individual courses have been matched to the wines. I am very curious to see what awaits us. Does everything fit? Yes, so I can be seen. I go into the dining room. Aha, at least not the last one. I sit down and take the menu card in my hand. Amuse bouche Scallop marinated and pâté with ratatouille salad Duck liver raviolo with charantaisemelon Atlantic turbot Bugunderzwieberl and wild garlic spinach Landhendlhaxerl with roasted vegetables and celery Saddle of lamb from the wood Cheese matured in fromagere Blue poppy seed cake Rhubarb and semolina pancake with cooked cream Petit fours Aha, sounds really interesting. The wines to go with them are still a secret, although several are already lined up on the table, some of them decanted. We start with amuse bouche, consisting of scrambled eggs, cockscomb, cauliflower soup and anchovy. As with the scallops, this is accompanied by a '99 Pinot blanc "Seeberg" from Prieler. We already had this one at the tasting. Its fruitiness and minerality harmonise very well with the scallop. Next we have duck liver raviolo. The wine for this is the 2000 Gumpoldskirchner Doppelconference Reserve from Köstenbauer, a cuvée of Gumpoldskirchner and Rotgipfler, aged in new wood, 14.5%, pale golden yellow, beautiful, not obtrusive sweetness and also good balance with the acidity; goes very well with the duck liver. Now comes the fish course, a wonderfully prepared Atlantic turbot with crispy skin, the onions and especially the spinach superbly created. Wine-wise we have the first miniflight, the 99 Kékfrankos "Spern Steiner" from Weninger and the 98 "aus den Rieden" from Ernst Triebaumer, 13.5%. E.T.'s wine has the same colour, a little more wood than Weninger, very well integrated. In a pure comparison, I like E.T. a little more than Weninger, but the Hungarian harmonises better with the turbot. The first meat course comes in the form of a Landhendlhaxerl, with an excellent roast juice. A pure 2000 flight from the Strehn winery is served: Cuvée Shiraz/Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon, Pondur and Shiraz single-varietal. Pondur consists of the above-mentioned cuvée plus Cabernet franc. All three wines harmonise very well with the poultry, I can't really decide on a favourite (or am I already too ready for a more precise statement;-)?) No, I have to hold out because now comes the main course, the saddle of lamb, fantastically tender and a dream in terms of taste. Another wine is added, the '99 Pinot noir Grand Reserve from Reinisch, 13.5%, 100% new barriques, an excellent Pinot noir by Austrian standards, beautiful cherry notes, full-bodied. So, now there is a short break, also due to the fact that the cheese trolley needs some time to circumnavigate the table with this wonderful selection. A new flight is set up, a 99er flight (all 13.5%) of Arachon, Goldberg Reserve from Johann and Gabarinza from Gernot Heinrich. Here we experience a surprise: Compared to the other two, the Arachon is rather weak, even one-dimensional. Perhaps we got a faulty bottle (magnum); we remember it differently from the tasting on site. In any case, the two Heinrichs are in a neck-and-neck race, which I would definitely rate as a draw. Oh dear, now we have to hold out. Everything is demanded of you here, but you'll soon be done and you're not here for pleasure;-)! The dessert course is quite OK, but the rhubarb seems a bit unripe to me, petit fours are again on a high level. It is accompanied by the sparkling wine 97er Chardonnay brut from Bründlmayer, a nice sparkling wine, of course wonderfully refreshing at this time and after this meal. In the meantime it is after 1 o'clock. So this dinner has dragged on for almost six hours. This is a personal record (apart from various family celebrations), especially considering the previous day's schedule. Thank God the hotel room is "only" two floors away. The same morning I am already reasonably fit again, at least fit enough to enjoy the four-course mini-menu after breakfast one more time. There is: Kraft broth essence Veal turkey escalope on mashed potatoes with fried onions Pancake with herring salad filling Champagne cream with fruit salad Strengthened in this way, we unfortunately have to say goodbye to this wine tour. It is only half an hour by bus to Vienna Westbahnhof... A pity, a great pity, the four days have flown by. Unfortunately, we are already heading home. We were able to visit top vintners and get to know them and their wines, enjoyed the beautiful landscape and had excellent food, it was great fun, what more could you want? Everywhere we were welcomed in a very friendly way, the landscape and the villages are still original, the people are very open, obviously this corner of Austria has not yet been spoiled by mass tourism. I learned a lot, gained great impressions and have actually already decided to travel to the region again this year, because there is only one disadvantage of such an organised trip without your own car: you can only take a very, very limited amount of wines with you. I hope I haven't bored you too much with my travel diary and in conclusion I can only recommend that you set off and experience the Burgenland region for yourself (but leave a few wines for me;-)) A N H A N G Here are a few more numbers for the statisticians among you: On 4 days we tasted a total of 150 wines, 60 of them white and 90 red (whereby I count the Butcher among the red wines). Divided into sweet and dry, there were 35 sweet and 115 dry wines. The day with the most tasted wines was Thursday (59), followed by Friday (50) and Saturday (35); the last day was Wednesday (6), but we didn't start until the evening, and these numbers don't say anything about the absolute amount;-) I have now compiled some links on this topic compiled:

Austrian wines in general and Burgenland






http://www.heinrich.co.at (Winery Gernot Heinrich)


http://www.wein-rust.at (Winery Giefing)






http://www.weingut-heinrich.atWeingutJohann Heinrich)

http://www.thermenwinzer.at (Biegler, Fischer, Schellmann)

http://www.j-r.at (Johanneshof Reinisch)



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