Happy Birthday, Loisium

Prof. Dr.Tim P. reports from his recent trip to the Austrian wine regions: After your tenth or twentieth or two hundredth winery visit, they all start to look the same—tanks over here, barrels over there, crush pad in the back, tasting room out front. The same is true for wine bars and wine lists: even the most creative combinations end up sounding familiar after a while. The next fancy wine tasting bears an uncanny resemblance to the last fancy wine tasting. And then there’s the Loisium, a wine experience absolutely in a class by itself. No; make that its own universe. It’s quite a package: whimsical, ultra-modern architecture linked with ancient wine cellars; spacey sound and light environments; a blend of wine history that’s half fact and all fantasy. You might expect this kind of edgy wine trip to pop up in New York or London or maybe Berlin — not in the middle of a vineyard in Langenlois, Kamptal, way out in the Austrian countryside, where it opened in September 2003. more…

Croatian White Wines Getting Great Press

Matt Markovich writes in the San Francisco Bay Guardian the wine column Bottle Rockets (yes, that’s what they call it!). This week he is reporting on a recent trip to Dubrovnik in Croatia. Clearly, Matt had a great time sampling a number of Plavac Mali red wines. This is the ancestor of the Californian Zinfandel which in turn is the reason Matt entitles his article Original Zin. But his real love is for a particular Croatian white wine, the Pošip Čara made on Korcula Island where the famous world traveler Marco Polo was born. Matt sings the praises of this wine: Despite tasting around, we found ourselves ordering Posip Cara (poe-ship charrah) again and again. The experience of taking sips and gulps of chilled Cara in the hot sun was like taking a slurping, juicy bite from a perfect green apple. Always smooth, never too tart, and free of any alcohol bite or bitterness, it made me curse the fact that it’s apparently unavailable in the States. Do we have good news for him and all other lovers of this fine Croatian wine. You can buy it in the US! We do have it in stock and a number of … Continue reading Croatian White Wines Getting Great Press

World Wine Market files for Liquidation

We are sad to read the news that the World Wine Market filed for Chapter 7 (i.e.liquidation). This was the San Francisco based wine trade show where Blue Danube Wine Company got its public start in 2003. We also participated in the next year with an expanded portfolio of wines from Austria, Croatia, and Hungary. For us, the World Wine Market provided direct exposure to some of the key people in the trade and media in California and elsewhere in the US. It was a great venue for networking: for instance, we met the folks from Cafe Europa in Boston, Mass. and started distributing their Croatian wines from FeraVino in California. Next year, we met the top management from the import and distribution company Wine for Everyone and convinced them to represent us in the State of Florida. We will miss this show right in our neighborhood and close to the center of the Californian wine industry. For the gory details of why the WWM failed as a business turn to the article in the North Bay Business Journal.

Winemaker Wohlmuth Visits California

This weekend we had guests from Styria, the only Austrian wine region where Gruener Veltliner is not king but where Sauvingnon Blanc, Muskateller, and Morillon (Chardonnay) shine. It also happens to be the birthplace of California’s Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Styria’s top wine maker Gerhard Wohlmuth came with his wife Maria and their friends from their home town Kitzeck. They were invited to present the Wohlmuth wines at the big Annual Styrian Ball which took place in Sacramento’s Sheraton Hotel. And since wine is their life they were eager to tour the Californian wine country. One day it was Napa Valley, then it was on to Sonoma’s Russian River, and finally to the Lodi Wine Center in the Central Valley.We started the day with a visit to the historic Niebaum-Coppola estate. Here are the Wohlmuths and the Schauers in front of a spectacular stained glass window. We all agreed that the flagship Rubicon 2000 was one of the finest wines we sampled that day, together with a rare Mondavi Fume Blanc Reserve, exclusively made from grapes grown in the I-bloc. But Wohlmuth was as eager to let the Californians taste his wines as he was to taste theirs and to convince … Continue reading Winemaker Wohlmuth Visits California