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Whine no more

These days the hills are alive with vines as Austria now produces some of the best wine in the world

Mark Robertson



Whine no more

A look at Austria's recent wine-making renaissance

It was not so long ago that a glass of Austrian Wine would be met with the resting face of Kanye West.

However, I like to think that even the chipmunk-cheeked misery might break a smile at some of the wines produced today. Ironically, the 1985 anti-freeze scandal took many years to thaw.

A few producers tainted the reputation of many (there were some bottles tested that were deemed fatal) and their actions had severe ramifications on an entire industry. This may have passed unnoticed by the British drinker, but it coincided with the start of our love affair with wine and the permanent state of schadenfreude that exists towards our Teutonic cousins.

Tired of driving their reliable cars and using their niftily descriptive words, this was an opportunity for our national press to blow the dust off some pent-up puns and exports fell by 90 per cent. It took the country more than 20 years to recover. Thankfully it was blessing in the long term, giving them a chance for a comprehensive re-think and providing many younger wine makers, with an emphasis on higher-quality production and innovation, to stamp their mark firmly down.

It began with individual winemakers and the larger wineries saw the opportunity, upgraded and followed. In 1995 with Austria’s accession to the EU and providing funds for development, the poorer wine regions were able to maximise their potential. Master of Wine Jancis Robinson recently summed up this renaissance neatly when she said: “The Austrians are at it again. They have held several significant blind comparisons of their own top wines with similar wines from elsewhere, and won every time.” I am not alone in thinking that Austria make some of the greatest wines in the world.

World-class wine offer

Mark Robertson is the owner of Lupton wines, which he says is delighted to offer Weingut Fidesser, an Austrian winery never seen in the UK before.

Norbert Fidesser

“Winemaker Norbert Fidesser might share a barber with Tim Henman and use Frank Spencer’s milliner, but his skills with wine are far from plucky or clumsy. “He is a world-class winemaker who has a unique understanding of how the grape varieties work in his vineyards. His Sauvignon Blanc is some of the best I have ever tasted. A perfect marriage of New Zealand and the Loire Valley, it has a texture that stopped me in my tracks... creamy yet fresh. I am delighted to offer the last few bottles of his 2012 Platter Rieden, stored at the estate until recently.

“Norbert’s PinotNoir is pure, balanced and without the elements of force one often experiences outside Burgundy. It has a ripeness that gives it a sensational silky quality and is an outstanding introduction to Austrian Pinot.

“Gruner Veltiner is currently Austria’s vinous ambassador; with its crisp,dry, tangy, spicy character, the Fidesser Kappellenberg is a complex, beautifully-made versatile wine that is perfect for the summer. Luptons wines are is offering a mixed case offer (four bottles of each), for £160 ( Inc VAT and delivery), including 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, Platter Rieden 2014 Gruner Veltiner, Kappellenberg, 2011 Pinot Noir Kappellenberg The box is available for immediate delivery. I am not alone in thinking that Austria make some of the greatest wines in the world.

For more details, telephone (01488) 682593, mobile 07917 412328, email or visit

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