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. At NiebaumIt 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. At NiebaumWe 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 everybody that he is a world class wine maker himself. So we organized a small tasting group with wine writer Mike Dunne from the Sacramento Bee and a few Sacramento experts on good food and even better wine, including wine merchant David Berkley and Austrian born chef Ivonne Morgan from Cafe Vienna. The picture of course shows wine connoisseur Darrell Corti giving Gerhard Wohlmuth valuable