Sauvignon in Styria, day 1
Arrived in Graz this afternoon for the Sauvignon Congress. I'm staying at a wonderful traditional hotel in the old town, Erzherzog Johann, which is in the best part of a small city that just falls short of being beautiful (although it has a lovely laid back feel to it). Conference sessions start tomorrow, but this evening there was a reception and dinner at the Schlossberg, which is perched on top of a steep hill in the town centre, accessible by a steep path or furnicular car.
It was a lovely evening. Part of the reason for attending a conference like this is that you get a chance to meet loads of people. I chatted this evening for the first time to Denis Dubourdieu and Richard Smart, both legends in their own fields, as well as catching up with a whole bunch of others.
There was also an informal tasting of a range of Styrian Sauvignons, which were uniformly very good. Sauvignon Blanc in Styria has a particular character - it's bright, fresh and fruity, with some depth to it. It isn't grassy/herbaceous like the New Zealand style; nor is it minerally as it so often is in the Loire. I think the next few days will be interesting.