The City of Vienna is the World’s Largest Urban Vineyard

Vienna, the capital of Austria is the world’s largest wine-producing city.

Here are some facts. Vienna has 700 hectares of vineyards, with over 276 producers.  The vintners produce within the city limits, in the areas around Kahlenberg, Nussberg, Bisamberg, and Mauer, where the Danube and proximity of the Vienna Woods provides optimal climatic conditions.

Wine Heritage

Wine production is a long-established tradition in Vienna which dates back to the 12th century. Austria’s signature grape is the Grüner Veltliner, a white wine variety that ripens in mid to late October, and accounts for over a quarter of the wine produced in Vienna.

Wine Culture

Some of the best places to taste and explore Viennese wines is in ‘heurigers’ or taverns. Heuriger mean, in EN, a cosy tavern where local winemakers showcase and serve their wines.  This is still a big part of Viennese city life. Vienna has over 100 heurigers scattered around the city centre. Since 2019, Viennese heuriger culture has been considered an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO.

Presently Vienna’s bars and restaurants are a big part of this lively wine scene as Vienna’s creative new generation winemakers bring a contemporary twist to its ‘heuriger’ heritage. New bars rub shoulders with the ancient craft and pair the wine with locally produced food.

Vienna’s wine renaissance and the revival of this farm-to-table lifestyle make it “ A must visit destination!”

Vienna’s Wine Hiking Day 

Vienna Wine Hiking Day is held each year in the fall when locals and visitors explore the urban vineyards by four different wine trails or hiking routes. At many points along the way, the Viennese vintners offer tastings from cellar and kitchen.

Tickets can be booked online for 2022

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2021 MW Exam Questions and Wines Revealed

The Institute of Masters of Wine has just published the questions from the 2021 MW exam, including the list of wines for the practical (tasting) part of the exam.

The complete list of wines can be found here: https://www.mastersofwine.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/IMW-MW-Exam-2021.pdf  The list also shows the questions from the theory component of the MW exam.

From August 31 to September 3 106 students sat the theory and practical exams in Adelaide, Helsinki, London, Malaga, Napa, Ontario and Singapore. The exam, usually held in June each year, was postponed to September due to the pandemic.

The practical and theory exams form the second stage of the MW study programme. Over four days students had three 12-wine blind practical papers and five theory papers on the subjects of viticulture; vinification and pre-bottling procedures; handling of wines; the business of wine; and contemporary issues.

Those who successfully pass the stage two theory and practical exams will progress to stage three, the research paper, the final stage of the MW study programme.

The first step is the stage one assessment, a one-day exam comprising a 12-wine blind tasting exam in the morning and a theory exam in the afternoon. One hundred and twenty-eight students sat the stage one assessment, which this year was held online on 4 August. Students can only progress to stage two of the MW study programme by successfully passing this assessment.

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The Wine Scholar Guild launches a new sensory wine project

The Wine Scholar Guild (WSG) has unveiled a new way to assess wine that takes a deep dive into “personality,” and “terroir signature” of wine using sensory language and neuroscience.

The WSG initiative, entitled The Architecture of Taste Research Project (ATRP), involves non-traditional methods of assessment including universal criteria such as sensory perception, perceived energy and emotions to evaluate wine.

The Project Leader Julien Camus and his team took into account how language formats individual thought and collective culture and noted how olfactory notes may speak more about the genetic background, the experience and the culture of a person applying them than about a specific molecule within the wine itself.

“We need to pay more attention to the global intuitive signals our bodies give us. If we put our sole focus on wine’s structural components, we may miss the bigger message,” said WSG president, founder, and leader of the Architecture of Taste research project Julien Camus.

“Our current research is very encouraging. When using our assessment grid, certain sets of descriptors correspond to certain terroirs. There are patterns that are statistically significant,” added Camus.

The oenological research’s next phase of the study will involve sensory analysis experiments, blind-panel tastings, statistical analyses, and an expanded set of assessment criteria to encompass salinity, bitterness, umami and minerality – each within the context of how the body responds to stimuli.

The WSG has put together a multi-disciplinary, advisory committee of professionals to oversee the ATRP. Members of the committee include: Gabriel Lepousez, neuroscientist; Benoît Marsan, wine chemist; Marc-André Selosse, botanist and mycologist; Thibault Boulay, historian and vigneron; Clémence Corbière, historian and sommelière; Pascaline Lepeltier MOF, restaurateur and wine writer; Andrew Jefford, journalist and author; and Lisa M. Airey, CWE, wine educator.

The first large-scale panel tasting using the WSG’s new ATRP tasting grid will take place in Alsace sometime this month (September 2021).

 

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Johnnie Walker opens eight-storey visitor centre in Edinburgh

Diageo has recently opened its Johnnie Walker visitor centre on Princes Street in the centre of Edinburgh. The eight-floor experience has been four years in the making and is the centrepiece of Diageo’s £185million investment in scotch whisky tourism in Scotland.

“This is a proud day for everyone,” said Diageo chief executive Ivan Menezes. “Johnnie Walker Princes Street is a landmark investment in scotch whisky and into Scotland and it sets a new standard for immersive visitor attractions.”

The visitor centre has taken on more than 150 employees speaking 23 languages and guests on the Journey of Flavour tour will have their personal flavour preferences mapped with drinks tailored to their palate.

The Johnnie Walker Visitor Centre has two rooftop bars and a terrace with views of the Edinburgh skyline and its Learning for Life academy will also host a hospitality training programme.

The centre will open its doors to the public September 6th. Tickets for tours start from £25 per person, including a 90-minute tour and three personalized scotch whisky samples.

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Andrews Family Vineyards becomes first Washington State winery to accept cryptocurrency

The Andrews Vineyards recently announced that they will accept cryptocurrency for the newly release wine “Trothe.”

The wines are available for presale to members only, who received the added benefit of purchasing their allocation of three-packs of this limited wine with Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH).

Proprietor and fourth-generation farmer Jeff Andrews has personal experience using the alternative form of payment, and has identified leaders in the space that will contribute to the elevated customer experience that he has designed for “Trothe” members.

“I’ve been intrigued by cryptocurrency for years and identifying currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum as having real value in their relatively short lifespans is both fascinating and exciting,” says Andrews. “Accepting cryptocurrency is one way to innovate and explore the opportunities of de-centralized blockchain technology.”

Innovation is a core principle at Andrews Family Vineyards, which carries through in the vineyard, the winery, and in business practices.

“We take uncompromising care in every detail in the production of Trothe, continually challenging the status quo for what is possible in crafting the highest quality wines,” says winemaker Ray McKee. “It should be no different with our approach in getting the final product to fine wine consumers and collectors.”

With just five barrels produced, the inaugural vintage of the Trothe Cabernet Sauvignon will be available for purchase in three-packs by allocation only.

To secure an allocation, visit trothe.com and join the Member List to receive further information.

 

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