Gastronomy is key to Austrian breakthrough

27 June, 2008

Markus Huber is the 10th generation

working the Traisental vineyards the

family has owned since 1778. He has worked

there since he was tiny, and studied oenology before spending two years in South Africa at Kaapzicht, Spiceroute and Lammershoek.

When he came to take over the family vineyards - then 4ha - he realised they weren't big enough to live from. Now he has 20ha and buys grapes from growers cultivating some 50ha on top of that.

His wines, designed to express Traisental's unique limestone soils, are fresh and approachable, with spice, green fruit and green pepper notes in the Grüner Veltliners, and a smoky minerality in top wine Grüner Veltliner Berg 2007. "I make purist wines, without too many trappings or unnatural or artificial influences," he says.

The UK is Huber's second-biggest export market, with wines in Oddbins and a Grüner Veltliner in Sainsbury's Taste The Difference range. He is now hoping to get on-trade distribution to match the off-trade. "I think the key to Austria growing its sales in the UK is to give people the chance to try our wines with good cuisine. We have to learn to value these wines, and the consumer must try them somewhere.

"You can't make Austrian wine cheaply, it is an expensive category, and who is going to buy an £8 or £9 wine if they don't know what it tastes like? That is why I think gastronomy is the key," he says, adding: "I see a lot of potential for Austrian wine generally."

Website: weingut-huber.at

UK importer: Thierry's

01794 507100




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