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23 May 2006

SE Styria Style

Driving south from Graz on Autobahn #9, I peeled off eastward before entering Slovenia, the landscape began to open up.  There is more space between intense green hillsides. I noticed the horizon flatten as I closed in on the Hungarian border.  However, this view of the small town of Straden likely compels many a traveler to stop and gape (me included):


Straden a beautiful small town in Southeastern Styria

Weingut Neumeister is built into the hillside.  The winery, along with restaurant and small B&B, run by the Neumeister family, are beautiful pieces of architectural art.


The stunning tasting room
(more photos here

Before sitting down to chat with the winemaker, 25-year old Christoph Neumeister & his Australian wife, Rachel, I was able to sample several wines in the winery's posh tasting room.  The wines of this southeastern corner of Styria are made from ripe grapes, warmed by the sun and wind from Hungary's plains.  These wines are generally fuller bodied and richer-textured in comparison to the neighboring wines from southern Styria, which has slightly cooler climate.  The Neumeister winery produces a stunning 2004 Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris) called Saziani.  It is full-bodied, rich and full of golden delicious apple.  I was struck by the complexity of this wine.  At only two years of age, it is a wine that behaves like a much more mature wine.  And of course, it begs for food - roast pork tenderloin, asparagus soup, Beuscherl (a creamy, gulash-like soup made from beef heart, liver and kidneys....mmm good).

Listen to my conversation with Chris & Rachel.(to come on Winecast).  We discuss the unique character of wine from Southeastern Styria, the trend of young winemakers in Austria and Rachel's experience as an Australian in Austria.  Neumeister wines are imported into the US by Morandell Beverage Group.

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phoenix landscape design

I'm still pretty new to the whole wine thing myself, but I've yet to see how people can distinguish between so many flavors etc etc when it comes to wine. I drink it and I'm tastes like all wine. :P

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