Xperience: Höpler Winery
Höpler is located in Breitenbrunn, a beautiful area of Austria. Sitting on 46 hectares, Höpler specializes in producing white, red and sweet wines. According to their website, “every 10th bottle of Austrian wine exported to the USA is from Höpler.” That’s not too bad now, is it? In fact, if you’re hoping to try some with dinner, you’ll find bottles of it offered at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant in London, Thomas Keller’s French Laundry in Yountville, Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill in New York, and so many more.
Owner and winemaker, Christof Höpler, situated his winery in one of the sunniest regions in Europe. Only 65 kms from Vienna, the area receives up to 2000 hours of sunlight a year. Other than the right temperatures, long sun-lit days are just what those flavourful grapes need. In terms of grapes, Höpler specializes in Grüner Veltliner, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Blaufränkish, which they use to make rosé. They offer an intriguing mix of reds, too: Blaufränkish, Zeigelt, Pinot Noir and St. Laurent. Quench had the opportunity to taste Höpler’s Pinot Blanc 2007 not too long ago. Here’s what we thought: Polished medium-gold. Nose of ripe apples with pears and spice. Full-bodied with high acidity. A clean, pure Pinot Blanc, tasting of apples with overtones of banana and honey. Drink now.
If you happen to be in Austria, plan a detour to visit Höpler’s tasting rooms. Modern tasting rooms complement the rest of the winery’s premises. Not sure you can handle all that modern design? No problem. The old wine cellars of the Höpler estate have been turned into living areas. Visitors can soak in the ambiance of old Austrian charm along with the flavours of the wine.