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Austrian Wine Makers in Chicago



April 29, 2008

Leading Vintners Wow the Crowds

Already an annual tradition: The Who's Who of Austrian wines was in Chicago and other cities all over the U.S. in April 2008 to present delicious Austrian wines to an excited audience. VinDivino, one of the leading importers of Austrian wines in the U.S., called for the participation of some of the foremost Austrian winemakers at his professional and consumer wine tastings.

Austrian wine exports are booming. Total exports for 2007 were 56 million liters with a total value of more than 105 mil. EUR. For Willi Klinger, general manager of the Austrian Wine Marketing Board, this dramatic increase proves how well the major quality efforts implemented by Austria's winemakers have taken hold. "Practically no other wine country in the world has such a dynamic and innovative wine scene," Klinger says proudly. "Our focus on high-level products is finally bearing fruit in exports as well. Austria's positioning as a wines-of-origin country with first-class bottled wines is now in full gear." Austria's most important export market remains Germany by far. Claiming second position is Switzerland, followed already by the United States.

The U.S. market for Austrian wines is growing steadily. Americans seem to like the rather dry Austrian white wines like Grüner Veltiner (Gruve) and Riesling. But in addition, Austrian reds like Zweigelt and Blaufränkischer can be found more frequently in U.S. wine cellars and restaurants. Famous wine magazines like the Wine Advocate are full of praise for the steady improvements in quality.

The first tastings of the young 2007 vintage wines from Austria are very promising. Despite somewhat extreme weather events (difficult summer and autumn weather conditions) the wines are quite balanced. In addition, after three years of below-average quantities, a “normal harvest” was once again achieved.

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