Austrian wines dominate blind tasting in London

An Austrian wine came out top in a blind tasting of 75 Rieslings from all over the world in Great Britain.A Riesling from 2004 by winemakers Hirsch in Kammern, Lower Austria, made first place ahead of a wine produced by German winemaker Egon Müller-Scharzhof and a 2007 Riesling by the Prager family in Lower Austria’s Wachau region.Robert Giorgione organised the event at London’s 28-50 Wine Workshop. The blogger and former sommelier admitted that the result surprised him considering the tough competition from Australia, the USA, Chile, New Zealand and other countries. He told The Drinks Business ( “I think the Austrian wines had perhaps a bit more complexity and they tended to make the biggest impact.”Austrian vintners harvested 1.1 million hectolitres of white wine in 2010. This means production dropped by 29 per cent year on year. Business branch representatives explained that heatwaves and devastating thunderstorms were the main reasons for the decline.Austrian Economy Chamber official Gerhard Wohlmuth warned lower-priced white wines will become around 30 per cent more expensive this year. He also said a five to 10 per cent price hike for more expensive white wines was likely.Austrian winemakers exported 60 million litres of red and white wine in 2010, 13.7 per cent less than in 2009. Statistics also show that Austria overtook the USA and Chile, the previous leaders for wine exports to Germany, last year.