Austrian wineries used pour their wines in Toronto annually to a small but enthusiastic group of drinkers, and then suddenly they stopped visiting Toronto for several years.
This year, 33 wineries decided to come and approximately 160 wines of their wines to the trade and public during two different time slots.
Austria grows grapes between latitude 47 and 48. This small country is relatively flat in the east, and practically all the regions are located here. There are 45,900 hectares under vine mostly planted to white grapes.
Vienna, Niederoesterreich Burgenland, Steiermark, and Bergland represent the main growing regions. Each of these has several appellations. Lower Austria, being the largest, has eight appellations, whereas Vienna has none.
The main grape varieties are gruner veltliner, riesling, welschriesling, weissburgunder (aka pinot blanc), followed by chardonnay, muller-thurgau, samling 88 (aka scheurbe), and other experimental vareities. For red wines, farmers prefer zweigelt, blauburger, blaufrankisch, pinot noir, st. laurent, followed by cabernet sauvignon, and merlot.
White wines dominate production. A relatively small amount of sparkling wines are produced.
There is only one Austrian white wine at the L C B O general list, but almost each Vintages release offers at least one gruner veltliner. The variety is dry, refreshing, fruity, acid-driven, and very suitable to match light foods providing wines originate from single vineyards.
I tasted approximately 70 wines and recommend the following:
Reserve Gruner Veltliner, 2014, Schloss Gobelsburg,
Reserve Geisberg Riesling, 2014, Schloss Gobelsburg
Agent – Artisanal Wine Imports
Reserve Kremser Ried Wachtberg Gruner Veltliner, 2014, Stadt Krems,
Reserve Steiner Ried Riesling, Stadt Krems,
Agent B Cojocaru Agencies
Reserve Kieferberg Gruner Veltliner, 2014, Rabl
Reserve Schenkenbichl Riesling, 2014, Rabl
Agent – David Thompson Vintage Trade
Klassik Kamptaler Terassen Riesling, 2015, Brundelmeyer
Klassik Zobinger Heiligenstein Riesling 2013, Brudelmeyer
Agent – HHD Imports
Reserve Langenlois Steinmassl Riesling, 2013,
Premium Estates Of Austria
Reserve Pfaffenberg Metternich und Salomon Rheinriesling, 2011, Salomon Undhof
Agent – Lamprecht International Ltd.
Klassik Pletzengraben Rheinriesling, 2014, Preiss Weinkultur
Agent – Merchands Des Amerigues
Steiner Hund Riesling, 2012, Nikolaihof Wachau
Agent – The Living Wine
Reserve Alte Reben Gruner Veltliner, 2015, Sax
Reserve Steinmassl Riesling, 2015, Sax
Reserve Loiserberg Riesling, 2015, Sax
Reserve Seeberg Riesling, 2014, Steininger
Reserve Seeberg Riesling, 2012, Weszeli Terra Factum
TBA (Trockenbeerenauslese ) Scheurbe, 2013, Zantho
Agent – Noteworthy Wines
TBA Non Vintage, Kracher
Agent – Philippe Danduran Wines
Beerenauslese, 2012, Esterhazy
Blaufrankisch, 2013, Heinrich Gernot und Heike
Rotgipfler, 2015, Johannes Of Reinisch
OP Eximium No. 26, 2013, Gesellmann
Note: Ontario agents are listed below each wine You can place your order with anyone. Minimum order is one case. A few wineries are looking for agents.