WINE ENTHUSIAST European Winery of the Year 2016 YouTube play

The “Wine-Oscar” goes to an Austrian winery for the first time

“This is the Oscars of the wine business,” exclaims Philippe Carrie from Palm Bay International wine importers. Indeed, the gala that took place on Monday, 30 January 2017 in the glamorous Nobu Eden Roc Hotel certainly lived up to those standards. The renowned Wine Enthusiast Magazine hosted the Wine Star Awards where Hollywood’s top stars like to vacation. The great names of the American wine branch appeared in evening gowns and tuxedos. Among them was Wayne E. Chaplin, CEO of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, North America’s largest wine distributor with more than 20,000 employees and 1.8 billion bottles sold yearly. Fifteen Wine Star Awards were given; among the categories were Importer of the Year, Sommelier of the Year, New World Winery of the Year, and American Winery of the Year. For the first time in its 17-year history, an award went to Austria. Roman Josef Pfaffl and his sister Heidemarie Fischer were honoured to accept the European Winery of the Year award. Sybil Strum, CEO of Wine Enthusiast, highlighted Weingut Pfaffl’s accomplishments for Grüner Veltliner and for the Weinviertel region during her speech as she gave the prestigious trophy. Weingut R&A Pfaffl exports to 30 different countries including the USA. 60% of their production is white wine with Grüner Veltliner in the lead followed by Riesling Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Muscat, and Sauvignon Blanc. 40% of the Pfaffl wines are red with the varieties Zweigelt, St. Laurent, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Pinot Noir. Decisive for the accolade was the outstanding performance of the Pfaffl wines at tastings over numerous years, the wide availability of the wines, the pioneering work for Grüner Veltliner, and the fact that a broad assortment spectrum, from elite wines to fruity everyday wines, are offered.

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Photocredit: Mark Tomaras Photography/Wine Enthusiast