The wines of Austria are a national treasure that we, in India, are barely aware of. However, Willi Klinger, Managing Director of the Austrian Wine Marketing Board, along with his dedicated team, is going all out to spread the good word, writes Reva K Singh.
At the Austrian Wine Summit 2009, Klinger announced with almost evangelical zeal, “We have one goal to fight for – and that is good wine and good food to make the world better.”
Introducing the programme, “Discover Wine Wonderland Austria”, Klinger was addressing a large gathering of members of the press and wine trade from 36 countries.
Austrian wine has made tremendous strides since the late 70s and early 80s and the Austrian wine industry has a lot going for it. Although Austria’s total wine production is very small – less than 1% of world production of which 75% is consumed in their own country, Klinger remains gung-ho. He realizes that Austrian wine is a niche product that needs a clearer profile to be better understood. “These are great wines,” he says. “They are not just for quaffing. You need a certain degree of wine knowledge and culture to enjoy them.”
The Austrian Wine Marketing Board’s new promotional message, ‘Taste Culture’ focuses on wine and food while emphasizing the diversity of Austrian wine. Reflecting its rapid growth and development in the last decade, Austrian wine’s new logo incorporates the Austrian banderole and has become a symbol of quality and origin.
Klinger believes Austrian wine is a cultural tradition as well as a pleasurable dining experience that extends beyond its borders. “While highlighting our own culinary identity with traditional dishes like Schnitzel and Tafelspitz, we will also illustrate the universal appeal of Austrian wine paired with international cuisine,” he says.
With 550 producers spread across Austria’s wine country, the diversity of Austrian wine is immense. At the same time, the wines are singular or ‘authentic’ with a unique character and personality.
Unique yet versatile, Austrian wines feature on the wine lists of most good restaurants and are likely to pair just as well with pakoras and tandoori chicken as they do with wiener schnitzel!