Website: Bernreiter Winery
Country Location: Austria
We are excited to introduce Peter Bernreiter's wines to the United States as well as the unique place they come from.
The appellation. In Vienna, terroir is Schnitzel, fried mushrooms, sauerkraut, and fresh wine grown in the city, while listening to live opera. Granted, Paris has a little tourist vineyard (less than an acre) in Montmartre, but Vienna (literally “wine”) is the only world capital with a significant wine production. It has over 1700 acres of vineyards within the city limit. It has its own appellation and hundreds of years of wine history.
Since vineyards were historically extremely small, farmers learned to interplant up to 20 different grapes in the same vineyard as a guarantee that at least something would survive the vintage. In light of this blinding optimism, everything grew together, was picked together, and was fermented together, resulting in a single wine called Gemischter Satz or “Mixed Set”. Gemischter Satz has an interesting complexity because of all the mixed grapes harvested together at different ripening stages.
The people. This winemaking tradition lives on in Vienna and during our last visit in subzero February, we found it along with Vienna’s terroir at Peter Bernreiter’s Heuriger. Heurigers are where Viennese wines are best enjoyed. Limited to only serve their own wines, these tasting places are more than just wine bars or restaurants: they are the cozy intersection of culture, food, and enjoying life in the moment.
Since 2001, Peter has organized his own “Heurigen Opera Festival” in addition to countless concerts and celebrations. No matter what, you’ll be drinking fresh Gemischter Satz or Grüner Veltliner straight from the tank in the hopes of cutting through a vast world of fried pork and knödel. Peter is also the host and partner you hope for, eager to sample every experiment fermenting in the cellar, keeping your glass full at the table, and constantly waving to every person who comes in.
The labels. The Bernreiter labels were specially designed for the US by the graphic design agency Geyrhalter Wine Group and inspired by the Wiener Werkstätte (Vienna's Workshops), a community of artists, architects and designers established at the begining of the century with a special emphasis on fine craftsmanship.
They reproduce 2 original artworks by our good friend, Ethiopian-born artist Wosene Worke Kosrof. Wosene is an acclaimed painter who uses his native Amharic—one of the few ancient written languages in Africa— as the core aesthetic element in his paintings.
“The symbols bring my culture to me and at the same time I recreate my culture with the symbols, producing a unique international visual language.” says Wosene. A unique international language spoken by both painting and wine. Both worlds might be far away from each other but they relate perfectly and in harmony, and come together in one bottle of wine.