For me the search for a new wine or the re-acquaintance with an old friend is not just about the actual wine tasting. It’s also the journey you take with others whether literally travelling through the vineyards and communities or in the conversations with those who grow and sell the wines.
Our recent trip to the Burgenland was too good an opportunity to miss as this is one of the main wine growing regions in the country. It’s both fun and interesting to visit vineyards directly but when, as we were, you are short on time and you want to sample a cross section of an areas wines then the village or town vinothek is an excellent option.
As we left the vinothek in Gols R suggested that we had just enough time, if we took the ‘short cut’ through Hungary, to visit the vinothek in Neckenmarkt – an Austrian village in the area south of the Hungarian town of Sopron. This was a community wine shop that R had visited in October, just before driving back to Vienna to pick me up from the airport. It was also the place where she had purchased a very nice bottle of ‘sam 2007’ a blend of Zweigelt, Merlot and Syrah from the Wellanschitz family vineyard. So with a little help from my iPhones sat nav when we took the inevitable – as is always the way with R’s short cuts – wrong turn, we arrived in Neckenmarkt. Along the way, I have to admit, we did stop off at the vinothek in Horitschon since we were passing.
The Neckenmarkt vinothek, to quote from the website, ‘is located in the 300 year old vaulted cellar of the former town hall and presented a cross-section of all bottle-filling operation of the wine community Neckenmarkt’ (Google translate).
Our host at the vinothek was an engaging young man who quickly began to get to grips with our wine preferences, through a combination of conversation and some initial offerings. His knowledge of particular harvests, grapes and vineyards in both the area and region added extra colour to the tasting of one excellent wine after another. This was the sort of ‘gentle selling’ that adds to the tasting and purchasing experience combined with excellent products. We left the shop very satisfied customers and having purchased a little more wine than we had originally intended.
The great surprise of our tasting was the discovery that not only was the ‘sam 2007’ as enjoyable as remembered but each of the other three wines we tried from the Wellanschitz vineyard were equally of the highest quality. Thus purchases were made of the ‘altes weingebirge 2009’, ‘burgstall 2009’, and the ‘Hochberg 2009’. Space in the car, diminishing funds, as well as the purchase of some wines from other vineyards placed a much needed restriction of my desire to buy at least one bottle of all the varieties offered by the Wellanschitz family.
R and I agreed that we had discovered a new vineyard to add to the favourites list and to enthusiastically recommend to friends. When the opportunity arises I hope to make the trip back to Neckenmarkt to explore other wines but particularly to visit the Wellanschitz vineyard.