Location: Whitby, Ontario, Canada

Born in Malta but in Canada since age 5. Has written three books and presently does several columns about wine and food for various magazines.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

AWMB Throws A Great Party!

AWMB ( The Austrian Wine Marketing Board) May 31st Evening
The AWMB was founded in 1986 in response to a very bad press scandal regarding the condition/state in the production of Austrian wine. It was founded to: "Strategically support, coordinate, and maintain quality and sales with a domestic goal to obtain an increased market share of Quality Wine with the export of bottled Quality Wine with particular focus of on the continued increase in value."
Included in its detailed mix of marketing activities is a proactive public relations campaign that is second to none. One of the activities was the one Roy, Sandie and I attended "Discover Wine Wonderland Austria". There were other groups visiting with different wine focus areas.
The game plan of the AWMB is to show the wines of Austria and the areas that produce them in a positive and progressive light with emphasis on quality, sales and a forward momentum to show the world what its wines are made of.
While there are many wine boards and quality control systems around the world, none have done the exceedingly fine job of bringing their plans to fruition as has the AWMB.
I remember feeling a bit "difficult" when told of the four day series of events and lectures. That changed as I became increasingly aware that this was no ordinary presentation but one that would truly introduce the visitor to the family so to speak.
This is something that the Ontario Wine Authorities should closely look at. They may have to spend some money but the result would be very advantageous to sales and credibility.
My congratulations to Mr. W. Kilinger and his fine team.
Party Time
Good byes are hard to do at the best of times but as usual the AWMB team made our goodbyes to the people we had visited with very meaningful. A party, complete with band, buffet food and Austrian Wine, took place at the Waggon 31 Viennese Prater.
We were treated to a ride on a legendary giant Ferris Wheel called the Riesenrad, which was constructed towards the end of the 19th Century and maintained until the present. It was fun to go up and view all of Vienna underneath my feet.
Vienna has so many attractions. Such a device in the middle of a large city would seem not to fit but not only does this fit but it adds to the history and culture of the city.
We had our amazing ride and went upstairs to a party that had already started as we got there later owing to a filming sequence that we needed to do.
To say that this was impressive would be understating the fact. I estimated some 300 people were already there from every country imaginable. No frowns, just the endless smiling faces of journalists, wine writers, agents, educators, students, sommeliers who attended the four day event and were now relaxing and communicating. This is the way it should be done!
We-the three of us--had a long day and would soon have to complete our work schedule starting the next day. While not at theoretical, it would be as if not more intensive for we had a job to do and we wanted to do it well. So we bid our adieus and left a party that would probably go on until the early morning hours. Have fun everyone----you earned it!!!!
On leaving I couldn't help thinking of what I used to open the television show that I wrote and co-hosted in the '90's. It was called "The Wine Companions". I said Wine is History. Wine is Geography. Wine is Science. Wine is People! I also recalled the "7 Elements Of Uniqueness" which were the Climate, the land,the Grapes, the Culture, the People, the respect for/of Nature, the food pairing. In essence we were saying the same thing!!!!!