#Danubia hit NYC a few weeks ago, hosted by Blue Danube Wine Company, featuring the wines of Eastern Europe and Austria.

Visiting winemaker, Peter Bernreiter was certainly a star showcasing his wines alongside his two sons at the event. In addition to the walk-around tasting, attendees were invited to sit in on a seminar featuring the Bernreiter wines which explained the wines of Vienna including our newest DAC, Wiener Gemischter Satz, the concept of the heuriger, Gruner Veltliner’s place in the region and even Zweigelt. Special treat, we were the first to taste the Zweigelt rose ever in the US!

Here are some highlights:

  • Peter Bernreiter is a resident of Vienna and he says his wines are made for the “Viennese customer.” Added bonus: Peter has recently brought over his Gemischter Satz “heuriger” which is what they would serve at the restaurant… a little bit of Vienna at home!
  • Gemischter Satz was originally created to  “spread the risk” for small, family wineries as the grapes ripened at different times and are susceptible to different diseases… but as the style grew and they discovered people liked the mixed wine it stuck.
  • Legally speaking, Gemischter Satz can have no more than 50% of any single variety and must have a minimum of three varieties over 10% each.
  • The term “Heuriger” means “this year” which makes sense as heurigers are required to serve only their wines from the current vintage. Historically, the wine was served from barrels and local people would gather until the wine was gone.
  • In a traditional heuriger, dishes such as roasted pork would be served over things such as schnitzel because they are easily sliced and shareable.
  • A heuriger is the basic definition of “farm-to-table.”

    Alen Bibic, Miha Batic, Peter Bernreiter
    Alen Bibic, Miha Batic, Peter Bernreiter

The wines:

  • 2013 Gemischter Satz
  • 2013 Gemischter Satz DAC
  • 2013 Gemischter Satz Heuriger
  • 2011 Gemischter Satz
  • 2013 Gruner Veltliner
  • 2012 Gruner Veltliner
  • 2013 Zweigelt Rose (barrel sample)

Everyone in the room agreed that Peter’s wines (and the man himself) were a special treat for the day and, later, we drank wine until the wee hours of the morning together in the nighttime portion of Anarchy Heuriger… the details of which will not be written here.

For more information on Peter Bernreiter, his heuriger, and his wines, please visit his the information page on the website of Blue Danube Wine Company, who imports his wines in the US.