Vienna the imperial capital that loves music and Brunello
The Parliament is as large as three football pitches, ice rinks full of children, horse and carts, waltzes …and red wines to be matched with meat, like Brunello
Vienna is a place that surprises, the enormous buildings, the attention for every detail. This is the capital of Francesco Giuseppe and Strauss. The building where the ex Ministry of war was has a double-headed eagle that weighs 40 tons in front of it, but in the city centre there is a school that teaches horses how to trot elegantly, and in the taxis, in the lifts and even in the restrooms you listen to Chopin, cake shops resemble jewellers. In other words power and elegance together. His was an imperial capital where nearly all men wore uniforms but also all danced perfectly a waltz and a mazurka. Today it is a well organized, clean, city, proud of its past and optimistic regarding its future. Wow!
In Austria where there are 52.000 places to eat, a quarter of them are cafes where clients spend hours sitting and socializing. The Vienna cafes are the nicest in the world.
There is a predominance of fried foods, not only wiener schnitzel but also meatballs. Vegetables are very expensive and meat is always present – tefelspitz, that is boiled beef and beuschel made with giblets. This fact favours red wines which in fact represent 53% of the bottles sold. Foreign wines occupy one third of the market and half of these are Italian. Our products have grown by 18% thanks to the sparkling wines.
I am in Vienna with my husband Carlo to take part in an event organized by Christian Bauer Wein&Kultur with 27 Italian wineries. The hotel is called Regina and it seems as thug we are in a different epoch.
Going back to the wine. It seems incredible but for years we have been looking for an importer in Austria without success. Austria,
Switzerland and Germany were the first markets where Brunello was exported in the 1980’’s. When I created my estate in 1998, these markets were already saturated, thanks also to the fact that many restaurant and wine store owners come to Tuscany with their trucks and take home sufficient wine for a year.
For me it has been much easier to find importers in Brazil Russia and other nations because I got there at about the same time as everybody else.
In Austria those who deal in wine are very competent and mange to speak a little Italian. It is nice to see how the Austrians fall in love with Brunello 2010 Prime Donne, its complex elegance and power. The event was organized in a different manner to those I usually go to: it will be Christian Bauer who will carry out the follow up, developing the more promising contacts and for this reason we leave a big case full of bottles. It might just work, so we’ll try it! I leave for Italy with great hope in 3-4 contacts made after a sort of questioning: the operators (without badges with the company name and not very willing to leave their business cards) made us ask so many questions that however were sometimes insufficient for us to identify them: <<Have you got a restaurant? A store? Where? What is its name? Do you hold Italian wines? ….. >>
So Vienna is place that leaves you speechless, slightly mysterious and intriguing. Let’s just hope it also become a good market for our wines so we can go back often!