Austrian Wines eye the Indian Market : A chat with Michael Moosbrugger

Austrian Vineyard

Understand and learn about the history of Austrian wine making. Along with this Michael Moosbrugger gives his opinion of the growing Indian wine marketing.

Michael Moosbrugger, after completing his education took over the responsibility of Schloss Gobelsburg winery in 1996. In a brief chat with PEAKLIFE, Mr. Michael Moosbrugger, Managing Director, Schloss Gobelsburg explains the vibrancy of culture and traditions of Austrian wine making and Schloss Gobelsburg.

As Michael plans to venture in the Indian market, he shares his insights on the Austrian Wine industry and the future of wines in India.

Michael Moosbrugger

How and when did you become a winemaker? Tell us about your experience and what were the main challenges at hand, and how did you overcome them?

You have to measure; I mean, I was 30 when I took over the responsibility for the state. And to take over the responsibility of the state of more than 800 years of history, it’s a lot of responsibility. I think one thing you have to learn in such a heritage is that when it comes to decision making, it is basically not about your feelings. You always have to take in account where do we come from, what is our history and what is our tradition.

After 10-20 years, winemakers are going into completely different direction, at Schloss  Gobelsburg we bring in this year the 847th vintage. So, I always have remind myself that  it’s not about my feelings as an individual instead  it’s about other’s feelings, as in the context of 800 years of winemaking, you’ll always be a very-very tiny footnote in the larger scheme of things.

What is the distinctive feature of an Austrian wine that sets it apart from other wines of the world?

In the wine business there are always different possibilities, we can try to produce certain international styles but we also have the responsibility to express our authentic origins, which is why we are trying to create something that is specific for the area that we are working in. Many colleagues of mine from France, Italy and Spain are following this idea.

When you are thinking about very specific wine styles like Sherry, Madeira, or even Champagne, which also somehow belongs to this family, you know these are the styles which are connected very much to the specific area where they come from. This is also something which we are trying to achieve. We are trying to bring that is different and very specific to a particular region of Austria.

For other countries wine is a common drink but for Indian the scenario is completely different. So how will you help people in India inculcate it in their daily routine?

It’s true, in Austria we always have a mindset about why do we drink? Do we drink it to get drunk or do we drink it because it’s a part of our culture. At our home and in our culture, a glass of wine is a part of our daily routine or daily suppers. We drink wine mainly along with food because it belongs to our tradition to have a glass of wine with our breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Yes you are right; Indians have not warmed up to the idea as of now. But I cannot predict the future; however I think that if you are coming to wine drinking, the overall construction of wine is different from when you drink whiskey. As here you are consuming alcohol in a very concentrated manner that takes you to a certain level of mindset very quickly, with which wine takes much longer.

The Indian wine market is very new and still developing, what are your comments on it? 

We all know India is a really big nation, so we only can provide a certain part of our production. I am very sure that on a longer run we will reach to a point where we want to get to. In future you will see more and more Austrian wines coming to India. I am actually quite bad with the names, so I taste here and there; I get the chance to drink, especially on fares or exchanging wines with colleagues.

I have seen so far that a lot of Indian wines are still searching for identity. However here and there something really special is coming up. This is what I believe is very important in the sense of development of wine culture in India. For which Indian wines are playing a major role because Indian wine industry will bring a lot of people to wine drinking instead of whiskey or bear. So as soon as more and more people are starting to drink wine it is creating more and more interest in International wines.

What is a special wine from your house that one should look out for?

In Austria one of the main quality ideas is not so much question of how the wines taste but we as the wine makers are judged actually drinkability of our wines. You know in the past 20 years we have learned it is not so difficult to create concentrated wines, the wines with lot of intensity. But the big question mark for us is do you really want to drink these wines? In Austria we drink more than 30 litres per inhabitant. So if you want to drink a lot of wine you need to have a certain drink flow. In Austria we are judged on the basis of how lightly the drink is.

An Austrian journalist set up a different tasting on quality. He invited like 40-60 different people for wine tasting and he opened like 10 different wines, and everything was wrapped. The winner of the tasting was the wine which was emptied the first. Here you are testing what people want to drink and these wines will never be first in Parkour tasting. But these wines are the one that people are really eager to drink. This is the quality that we are offering especially when it comes to matching food and wine, something that is very important. The freshness, the acidity and which is very specific of also the Danube area. `

A message you would like to give to the audience from your experiences through the journey.

The first message and the most important message I would like to give is believe in yourself. In the wine industry and lot of people who are drinking wine, they are reading a lot of critics like Parker,  and believing whatever they are writing. But at the end of day wine is all about enjoyment, it’s not about Mr. Parker’s enjoyment but your enjoyment. Believe in yourself, taste as much as you can and make your own opinion. No matter if its art, fruit, music but also if its wine, it’s always the experience that makes you someone who can really enjoy the little beautiful things of life.



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