Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Austrian Wine Trips in 2009

This year there will be 2 wine trips to the regions around Vienna (Wagram, Thermenregion, Carnuntum) and up the Danube (Kamptal, Kremstal and Wachau). The price of the trip (£650.00) will include land transportation from Vienna, all accommodation (double or twin room), all meals, all tours and tastings. Drinks provided by the winemakers are included. Drinks at most meals will be extra. Flights are extra and there will be a single occupancy supplement of £100. Since EasyJet now flies into Vienna from either Gatwick or Luton you can book your flights quite cheaply, especially if you book early (Gatwick is recommended as it is less expensive right now AND has better times). As prior trip participants can tell you, these trips are a gourmet and wine tasting extravaganza! Some of the cultural highlights will include a tour of Stift Klosterneuberg, the historical home of commercial wine making in Austria and a beautiful monastery, and a stay in Dürnstein, the UNESCO World Heritage site where Richard the Lionhearted was imprisoned when returning from the Crusades.

ROUGH Itinerary –
Day 1 – depart Gatwick on EasyJet, arrive in Vienna at 1425. After picking up the van, we’ll drive to Gumspoldkirchen southwest of Vienna at the base of the Vienna Woods. There may be time for a quick soak in the thermal baths before dinner. Dinner will be at Waldgasthof Schimanszky, a brilliant restaurant in the woods featuring the wines and homemade goods of the force of nature that is Wolfgang Schimanszky. Overnight in Gumspoldkirchen.

Day 2 – Tour and tasting of Spaerot Gebeshuber in Gumpoldskirchen with lunch at their wine bar. After lunch we’ll make a short drive to Göttlesbrunn in Carnuntum to visit Franz & Christine Netzl for a tour and tasting. Dinner at a Heuriger in Gumpoldskirchen. Overnight in Gumspoldkirchen.

Day 3 – Morning tour of Stift Klosterneuberg, lunch at the Stift or in Klosterneuberg. Late afternoon tasting, probably at Schloss Gobelsburg or Bründlmayer in Kamptal. Alternatively, if desired, we may spend the afternoon with some of the monks of the Stift where there is a large English language contingent. Dinner and overnight in Dürnstein.

Day 4 – Morning for exploration of Dürnstein. Late morning tour and tasting at Tegernseerhof (or other producer) in Wachau. Lunch in Dürnstein. Afternoon visit to Stift Gottweig (yet another UNESCO World Heritage site), where they make some wine, too! Dinner at the Richard Löwenherz and overnight in Dürnstein.

Day 5 – Another opportunity to taste some of the wines of the Wachau (producer[s] to be determined). Early lunch on the way back to Vienna. Flight back to the UK in the late afternoon.

A deposit of £100 is required to secure your place. Payment in full is due 4 weeks before departure. Cancellation less than 4 weeks before departure will result in the forfeit of your deposit.

Booking and prepayment for the tours is required. So phone (01628-472214) or email (paula@ultimatewines.co.uk) to book your place. A deposit of £100/person is required to hold a place on the wine tours. Payment in full is required 4 weeks before travel.

7 May 09 Tasting - Swiss Wines - Grape Varieties You've NEVER Heard Of

Venue - London – Bacchus & Comus, 57 Pelham Street, London SW7 2NJ
Time - 6:30 – 8:00 pm
Date - 7 May 2009 (Thursday)
Cost - £40.00/person

Switzerland offers so much more in the vinous area than those incredibly ordinary Fendants and Dôles that you drink on your ski trips. This tasting will feature 12 (!!) unique grape varieties that you've probably have never heard of so it’s a real opportunity to add to your grape variety “life list”. All these wines are rare and seldom made anywhere, even in Switzerland. Most are from the Valais, that beautiful valley along which the Rhône River flows on the way up from Zermatt. The tiny producers here make some outstanding wines. The wines aren’t cheap but, then, what is in Switzerland. So to experience the pleasures of Heida (Païen), Cornalin, Resi, Lafnetscha, Gamaret, and Gwäss, among others, join us on 7 May.

Booking and prepayment for the tasting is required. Phone (01628-472214) or email (paula@ultimatewines.co.uk) to book your place. All of the tastings are sit-down, tutored tastings so arrival on time is important. Please let me know if you will be late (mobile – 07745-895210). See you there.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Dregs Report - going Live on 1 April 2009

Join a worldwide group of wine bloggers for some fun on April Fool's Day, 1 April 2009. I'll be posting my own entry here but when the site goes "live" you'll be able to click on the link to find all the Dregs. Don't miss it.