And what a show it was!

Tuesday afternoon trade and press gathered at Blaue Gans in Tribeca, NYC for the first official tasting of Esterházy wines from Austria.

The event began with a sparkling wine reception at 11am featuring Esterházy Blanc de Noirs, a light wines with fine bubbles that was a great way to start the morning. From there, the group took their seats at the tables. Each table featured a few nibbles and two other wines that were to be explained later in the event.

Introductions were made and the two owners of the winery presented us with the background for the wines:

Esterhazy is an area located in Burgenland, Austria that features one of country’s beautiful castles. Throughout history, the princes of  Esterházy have had a heavy influence on the cultural and political life of Central Europe as a whole. Wine has played a pivotal role in the lives of the Esterházy family since the early 17th century which played a major role in the development of wine in the region.

This particularly group preferred the grapes of Burgundy and, therefore, Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay are still widely planted. Today, indigenous varieties such as Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch and Gruener Veltliner are also planted here.

Typical of the Burgenland region, Trockenbeerenauslese wines crafted at the castle were, and still are, a special treat. They were historically enjoyed throughout the country, including in the Imperial Court in Vienna, the elite and by many famous artists.

Traditionally, the winery of Esterhazy was housed separately from the castle, but was moved to the castle’s basement in 1947. However, the group recognized the importance of modern wine technology and today the wines of Esterházy are crafted in a state-of-the-art facility nearby.

The winery is made up of 65 hectares of vine coverage in the Neusiedlersee-Hügelland area of Burgenland on some of the most prestigious areas such as the southern slopes of Leithagebirge, on the hills of Ruster Hugelland and on Follig mountain.

The winery features a variety of dry red and white wines, sparkling grapes and, of course, their famous TBA wines from Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Blanc, Merlot, Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Gruener Veltliner, Zweigelt & Blaufränkish… in other words, a little something for everyone.

In this region, it’s unusual to have so many white wines of such quality, but attendees agreed, the weight and complexity of GV alone proved to be a pleasant accompaniment to the buffet lunch that was served.

After the presentation, attendees enjoyed music played by a string quartet… music representative of the Esterházy region.

Overall, the event was a great success and although attendees only had a chance to try a sample of the wines, they were enjoyed by all. It is clear the Esterházy wines will grow to be a great part of the Austrian market very soon.