There are few places that wave activated our imaginations wine-wise, more than Central Europe, and in particular Hungary. It is a region with an ancient wine culture. However, wine from the greatest sites, produced by motivated, well-trained winemakers has not been available in the US for very long. Soviet rule did not, to put it charitably, encourage high quality production. And even in the last 20 years, there have been few specialists equipped to select and import the greatest wines that have been produced.
Frank Dietrich and his Blue Danube Wine Company deserve a great deal of the credit for bringing these wines to a wider audience. Blue Danube imports wines from Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Georgia, Hungary, Slovenia & Austria. Many of them never before available to curious consumers but make no mistake - these are no mere curiosities. While most of them are very modestly priced, they represent centuries of winemaking tradition and refinement, newly rekindled after a few decades of Soviet suppression.
Frank will lead us through of tasting of primarily Hungarian and Georgian wines [along with an Austrian Blaufrankisch] . These wines have evolved from some of the oldest winemaking traditions on Earth. [The Georgian practice of fermenting and aging wine in clay qvevri is thought to date back 8000 years, and the Caucasus Mountains in Georgia may in fact be the birth place of vitis vinifera grapes]. Frank has made numerous trips to these regions and will regale us with tales and images from his travels. We would be remiss is we did not note that Frank is one of the most thoughtful, witty and charming of the importers to present wines at our tastings throughout the years.
Here is the anticipated line-up:
NV Kreinbacher Classic Sparkling Furmint
2013 Apatsagi Harslevelu
2014 Tinon Furmint "Birtok"
2013 Gotsa Mtsvane
Asureti Valley, Georgia
2013 Heimann Kekrankos "Alte Reben"
2011 Muhr-van der Niepoort Blaufrankisch "Spitzerberg"
2012 Patricius "Katinka" Late Harvest
This tasting is by reservation only. The cost is $15/person, which includes snacks. Wine Club members receive one free admittance. Please call us at 831-423-2020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make reservations. We look forward to seeing you Saturday.