Monday, October 5, 2009

Leading Austrian Wine Retailer in Germany - Gerhard Biber's rotWeissrot in Munich

Pictures: Christian G.E. Schiller and Gerhard Biber at the rotWeissrot wine store in Munich and 2008 Gerhard Markowitsch Carnuntum Cuvee

Famous for white wines, Austria is now increasingly producing exciting red wines. Winemaker Roland Velich, for example, made history this year, when the Wine Advocate awarded him its highest rating ever for an Austrian red. Read more about it in the Wall Street Journal here

My interest for Austrian wines began in the 1990s, when I lived in Zagreb in Croatia, at that time a country that was struggling to come out of 50 years of Yugoslavian-style socialism and a war against Serbia. Things were improving there but overall still rather bleak, at least from an American and German perspective.

Coming from or going to Frankfurt am Main in Germany, we would always pass through the South Styria. What a beautiful area in a little corner of Austria just above the Slovenian border. No wonder that South Styria is called by many the Tuscany of Austria, although only few Americans have heard of it. Wine is thoroughly intertwined with lodging and dining options across South Styria. I used to buy the wines from the Polz brothers, including their delicious Sauvignon Blanc and the Welschriesling. But these wines are long gone from my cellar.

How do I now stock-up my wine cellar in Frankfurt am Main with Austrian wines? There are a number of wine merchant selling Austrian wines in Germany.

One of the leading wine merchant for Austrian wines is Gerhard Biber in Munich. Gerhard was born in the Wachau in Austria. Before opening his wine store in 2003, he was a successful business manager. During the last 6 years, I have watched him building his second career as a wine merchant. Within a couple of years he has become an authority for Austrian wines. When I am at his wine store, I am always overwhelmed by the amazing range of Austrian wines, from inexpensive table wines for every day consumption to high quality wines to be laid away to wait for a special occasion.

rotWeissrot has also created an extremely informative web site with an online-shop, which is in German only. But Gerhard speaks English so one can order wine in English by e-mail or phone.

rotWeissrot is a real family operation as Gerhard is supported by his charming wife Marianne and increasingly by their two sons Alexander and Christoph.

I recently bought the

2008 Gerhard Markowitsch Carnuntum Cuvee

a blend of 85% Zweigelt and 15% Pinot Noir for Euro 7.90, a wonderful every-day table wine. I just ordered the wine on his web site and within 48 hours, the wine arrived at my house by DHL.

I also have had the pleasure to participate in a Gerhard's wine tastings that he organizes regularly at the wine store. Gerhard knows so much about Austrian wines and he possesses this amazing ability to communicate with people.

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