AUSTRIA (Vienna) - Vienna's Schönbrunn Palace, an UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most visited tourist attractions in the Austrian capital, is set to have its own vineyard again, 250 years after abandoning its own wine production.
A group of four ambitious Austrian winemakers - Rainer Christ, Michael Edlmoser, Fritz Wieninger and Richard Zahel - has received authorization to grow a field blend (German "Gemischter Satz") on a newly arranged 1,000-square-meters vineyard in the baroque garden of the palace, and to harvest and vinify its grapes.
The first 500 bottles are expected to be sold in 2011. The four winemakers want to create a light white wine, which already has a long tradition in Vienna and is a blend of various different grape varieties - all grown in the same vineyard. The traditional way of producing a field blend differs from the one used to produce a cuvee, where different grapes are harvested and fermented separately before the wine is blended and bottled.
Field blends are offered in Vienna's famous "Heurigen" wine bars. This traditional Austrian wine was admitted to the "Ark of Taste" of the Italian Slow Food Foundation last year.
If the plan of the winemakers Christ, Edlmoser, Wieniger and Zahel succeeds, then the Schönbrunn Palace operators will have an additional attraction for the palace's 2.6 million visitors each year, and they will not have to worry about wine sales. (aw.yoopress)