Wine Summit 2019: Vineyard Interfaces in the Heart of Europe
Focus on borderland vineyards
Every two years, the AWMB conducts Austria’s biggest wine tour for the international press, the Wine Summit, and this year’s edition will be addressing a very special theme. AWMB managing director Willi Klinger is looking forward to the days ahead, saying in eager anticipation: “For many years, I have wanted to devote a comprehensive visit to the vineyards on Austria's borders, national borders which did not exist until after 1918; demarcations which suddenly cut excellent terroirs in two. Now, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the peace negotiations in the suburbs of Paris, this year’s summit will bring top journalists from all over the world to take a closer look at what has been going on in our winegrowing regions at the borders since the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989, and we’ll also use this opportunity to introduce our neighbours here and there.”
197 journalists, 857 wines, 425 Austrian winegrowers
From 23–29 May, 197 journalists from thirty-nine countries will travel through the Austrian winegrowing regions bordering the neighbouring countries Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia and the Czech Republic. In addition to guests from major export markets such as Germany and the USA, numerous media representatives from emerging or developing markets such as Canada and China will be attending the summit. From the “Dreiländerblick” (three-country view) in Schrattenberg (Weinviertel), over the Bridge of Andau (Neusiedlersee), and the “Weinblick” observation point (Eisenberg) all the way to the “Grenztisch” (a table that literally straddles Slovenia’s border with the Südsteiermark), the tour groups will be stopping at various borderland vineyards and stations along the frontiers. There they will receive in-depth information from accredited specialists regarding the historical background, as well as the influence of the situation at the border on local viticulture. Numerous wine tastings will round out the extensive travel programme, some also featuring wines from the neighbour countries. In total there will be 826 wines from 425 Austrian winegrowers and 31 wines from 20 international growers presented for tasting.
Parallel to the itineraries that range along the borders, there will also be an introductory visit to Austrian wine country for those journalists coming for the first time. This group will focus on classic wine regions along the Danube.
Highlight: a day’s conference addressing Austrian wine history
The centrepiece of this year's wine summit will be a one-day conference on 26 May for all participants at the Palais Niederösterreich in Vienna, especially dedicated to the history of Austrian wine. At the conference, the approximately 500-page book Wine in Austria: the History, which will be published in December, will also be presented. It was conceived by Willi Klinger and then came to fruition under the academic direction of Professor Dr Karl Vocelka. More than thirty authors contributed about two and a half years of work to this study, which treats the development of viticulture in Austria since its beginnings in prehistory.
The end of the conference-day will be punctuated with a big, casual Heurigen evening. Mr Klinger summarises:“At the Heurigen we want to raise a toast with all our Wine Summit guests and a good glass of Austrian wine, in a convivial and friendly ambience. I am convinced that the representatives of the international media will be able to take completely new perspectives on Austrian wine home with them from their travels and, as a result, be better able to spread the word into the world.”
Wine Summit 2019 (23–29 May):
Conference on the history of Austrian wine (26 May):
Wine in Austria: the History
Austrian Wine Marketing Board
Ms. Sabine Bauer-Wolf
Division Manager Communication
Mr. Georg Schullian
Head of Department Press, PR & Corporate Design