HMWS was at the Willi Opitz Winery in Illmitz, Austria from Friday 4 October to Sunday 6 October for the celebrated WWWW (Wine Weekend With Willi). Accommodation was at the Opitz Guest House to enjoy the fabulous wine activities and hospitality of Willi & Maria Opitz.
“From 8 hectares of vines, located in the town of Illmitz, near the Hungarian border, Willi produces a remarkable range of dessert wines, including such exotic creations as red Eiswein and Schilfwein (made from grapes dried on reeds). From his incredibly concentrated, award-winning sweet wines to his Muskat Ottonel, his wines reward those who want excellence but are willing to be adventurous. His CD of the sounds of his cellars full of fermenting wines – The Sounds of Wine – was released a couple of years ago and holds a special position in many wine lovers’ CD collections!” – (BB&R)
DAILY TRIP LOG
- Wednesday: Taxi to Manchester airport in pouring rain. JET2 flight to Budapest. Private transfer to Helia Spa Hotel on the Danube. Drinks and light supper in the Hotel bar.Hotel Helia http://www.danubiushotels.com/our-hotels-budapest/danubius-health-spa-resort-helia
- Thursday: Morning private, guided city tour.
- “We started the tour from the Chain Bridge, passed by the Parliament and took Margaret Bridge to drive over to the Buda side. We stopped in the Castle District and during a short walk, saw the main attractions of the area. We walked to Matthias Church and to the Fishermen’s Bastion (from where you can enjoy the beautiful panorama).
- Next, we drove to the Gellért Hill (Citadel) and saw the most spectacular view of Budapest. Then, over Elisabeth Bridge to Pest and see the famous Central Market Hall, after which we drove to the City Park. We passed by Europe’s largest thermal spa, the Budapest Zoo and the Amusement Park, then stopped at the Heroes’ Square (with statues of the most famous Hungarian kings and dukes).We then took Andrássy Avenue to downtown Pest, passed by the Opera House and St Stephen’s Basilica. During the tour were offered a brief overview of the last 1000 years of Hungarian history.
- “The same minibus took us to Etyek, to visit Etyek Kuria and Hernyák Estate. At Hernyák we had lunch as well. Both are high quality wine producers with great hospitality. ( http://www.etyekikuria.com/en/home ,http://www.hernyak.hu/eng.html )
- Dinner was at a typical Hungarian restaurant with traditional music and dancing
- Friday: Drove to Oggau in Austria to tasting at Gut Oggau and lunch at a Bistro in Oggau. Dorve to Willi Opitz Winery in Illmitz. Dinner was at a Heurigen in Illmitz with Opitz wines
- Saturday: Visited the National Park Centre. BQ lunch on the Neusidlersee boat. Travelled through the Neusiedlersee National Park by horse-drawn carriage. There was coffee, cakes and short break back at the winery. Vineyard management was at 1700 hrs with canapés and aperitif followed by open ended Private dining
- Breakfast and departure. A minibus picked up us in Illmtz and drove us to Sopron for a tasting and lunch at Taschner Winery after a guided walk in the ancient city. Drove to Budapest airport for flight home.
“Gut Oggau is a 13 hectares Austrian wine estate located in the province of Burgenland by the Lake Neusiedl. The estate is today run by Eduard Tscheppe – son of a winemaker – and his wife Stephanie Tscheppe-Eselböck – daughter of a 2 Michelin stars Austrian restaurant owner – who took over the estate several years ago.
The vineyards are cultivated according to biodynamic principles (Demeter certified) with traditional winemaking methods in the cellar. Also, each wine is vinified with the grapes coming from a single plot, allowing to get a wide range of authentic and different personalities of wines. Each cuvée is named after a fictional character created by Jung von Matt (German designer) and is integrated in a family tree (grandparent, parents and children).
Stephanie and Eduard focus on quality as a permanent quest, their aim is to achieve a natural vine balance and process the grapes as gently as possible, allowing them to make the best use of their vineyard’s strength.
With only 15 to 18,000 bottles a year, Gut Oggau‘s wines are one of the most sought after wines of Austria. Complex and original, there is no suprise in finding some of their cuvées in the best restaurants of Europe (London or Paris for instance) to pair with the Haute Cuisine.” – (Dynamic Vine, Gut Oggau UK Agent)
“Thank you so much for organising such a wonderful trip. Carol and I enjoyed it greatly – Budapest sightseeing, thermal baths, wine tasting and not to be forgotten traditional folk dancing!! Illmitz was delightful. Willi Opitz – outgoing, full of life, provided us with wine tasting, rustic dining, tour of vineyards, lake cruise and barbie. Saturday night a 12-course dinner with matching wines – amazing! Sunday morning back to Hungary and a visit to Sopron for wine tasting and lunch. Very pleasantly surprised by quality of wines and food presented by an excellent wine maker. On a further note whilst on LakeNeusiedlersee, we sailed past the opera house and thought it would be amazing to visit in July during the opera season. Do you think other members would be interested in such a trip to combine opera and wine tasting? What are your thoughts on this Bernard? Once again thank you so much. We also enjoyed the company of the other members of the tour group.” – Peter & Carol Murphy, Ackworth, 8th October
“Thank you for visiting us after many years again! Looking very much forward to hearing from you for a booking next year.” – Maria Opitz, Illmitz, Austria, 16 October