Recently I got an opportunity to attend a workshop cum wine tasting session at Eros Hotel, Nehru Place by Michael Moosbrugger, Chairman of Austria based winery Schloss Gobelsburg. He enriched us with the history of winemaking in Gobelsburg and the wine production techniques used in his winery. He also told us about the Grüner Veltliner grapes which are the signature white grape variety of Austria.
History of Gobelsburg dates back to around 3500-4000 years. In the 12th Century, the Cistercian monks were settling in different parts of Europe, bringing with them the winemaking legacy of Burgundy. One of the places they build their monestry was Gobelsburg in Austria. They were managing the Gobelsburg winery till 1995. Michael Moosbrugger took over the responsibility of the heritage of Gobelsburg in 1996. He established a close connection with wine culture at an early age as his father was the co-founder of Austria’s first wine sommeliers association.
Schloss Gobelsburg is one of the unique wineries where they do not artificially regulate the temperature. Since Michael wanted his wines to be as natural as they can be, he wasn’t particularly interested in bringing highly technical equipment. So he found a different solution for aging his wines in natural temperatures.
In case the wine needs to be kept at a particular temperature, the casks are physically moved to one of the different temperature zones set inside the winery. Therefore, at the bottom of each cask, you’ll find a set of wheels. Instead of bringing the temperature to the wine, he decided to bring wine to the temperature.
55% of their wines are produced from Grüner Veltliner grapes, 25% from Riesling and the rest 20% from the red grape varieties belonging to the Pinot Noir family. The casks are made from wood that is grown in that area itself. So the local grape varieties, natural temperatures combined with local oak wood casks give those wines a unique synchronization. This winery, even on the present day, will give you a glimpse of the history, tradition, and culture of Austrian winemaking.
Grüner Veltliner is almost exclusively grown in Austria. Recently sommeliers the world over are discovering its extra nuances and delicate flavors which is making it increasingly popular among them.
I too found the wines extremely refreshing and crisp. Even though this grape variety renders the wine acidic and dry, the compelling notes of grapefruit, citrus, white pepper and honey will leave you craving for more.