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Schloss Gobelsburg urges Austrian winemakers to adopt ‘Champenoise’ approach to distribution

Published:  10 October, 2018

The Austrian fine wine industry has been urged to adopt a more 'Champenoise' approach to distribution by leading producer Schloss Gobelsburg.

The industry would benefit from releasing greater volumes of mature vintages onto the market, the estate's managing director, Michael Moosbrugger, told Harpers, adding this would be the next step in enhancing Austria's fine wine credentials.

“Historically, even Austria's finest wineries have generally released only young wines onto the market as a matter of course,” he said.

“Sommeliers and restaurants haven't been ageing them, because of financial constraints, and so consumers aren't experiencing our best wines when they are mature.”

To that end, Moosbrugger revealed that Schloss Gobelsburg had commissioned the construction of a new cellar, to enable the winery to store vintages for longer before release.

However, in a temporary setback, the roof of an existing cellar collapsed in the summer this year – fortunately no one was injured.

“Despite the delays, it is our initial plan to release our best wines two to three years after the harvest once the cellar is completed, and then perhaps longer if the market responds positively,” said Moosbrugger.

He added he felt sure other Austrian wineries would follow suit, and that a culture of releasing tranches of mature vintages would likely become the normal practice, in the Champagne mold.

“Our goal is for Austria's best terroirs to be held in the same regard as Burgundy's.”

Schloss Gobelsburg is a founding member of the Österreichischen Traditionsweingüter - Association of Austrian Traditional Wine Estates – established in 1992.

The organisation completed a landmark classification of the Danube's historic vineyards in 2010 – initially classifying 52 vineyards as Erste Lage (Premier Cru).