The Wine Summit 2017: the Wine-World’s Elite visits Austria
May 18, 2017 - An upper-echelon wine summit hit the stage from 8–11 May in Austria. An international mix of some eighty journalists, sommeliers and wine merchants from thirty different nations – under the aegis of the Austrian Wine Marketing Board (AWMB) – spread out on five separate tours to explore the country’s wine-growing regions. The visits could be bookended this year by attendance at the European Sommelier Championship in Vienna.
Austria’s wine-growing regions in focus
The basic programme led international specialists on five different routes through Austria’s unique & distinctive wine regions on 9–10 May. Kremstal, Traisental and the Thermenregion were grouped together in one tour, as were Kamptal, Wagram and Carnuntum in another. The Weinviertel, the Wachau and Wien (Vienna) combined to make up a third, while the remaining two excursions – rounding out this highly diversified offering – focused on the larger regions Burgenland and the Steiermark (Styria). In order to provide guests with the deepest possible immersion in the individual regions within a short period of time, the programmes included hikes through the vineyards, visits to local tourist attractions and meals featuring the local culinary specialties – along with, of course, numerous wine tastings.
Austria takes on the rest of the world
After the travellers returned from the vineyards, the final day of the wine summit began in magnificent fashion in Vienna: with a blind tasting in the world-famous restaurant Steierereck, where Austrian wines were once more able to demonstrate their extraordinary standard of quality, even compared with stiff, first-class international competition.
A rare and special occasion
After a break of nearly twenty years, Austria once more had the honour of hosting a grand international event for the sommelier set in 2017: the European Sommelier Championship. This offered the unique opportunity to bring the summit and the championship into a fruitful symbiosis. Thus the opening event of the Sommelier Championship on 8 May in the Orangerie at Schönbrunn Palace provided the downbeat for the Wine Summit, while the championship’s grand finale on 11 May at the Parkhotel Schönbrunn brought it to a festive conclusion.
The best sommelier in Europa and Africa comes from Latvia
Four of the original thirty-seven top sommeliers contended with one other for several hours filled with demanding tasks in the final act of the European championship. Giving a flawless performance, showing great expertise and charm, Raimonds Tomsons from Latvia won the coveted title ‘Best Sommelier in Europe and Africa’. In addition to expressing gratitude to all his supporters, Tomsons also extended thanks to the host country: “Vielen Dank, Österreich!”