Guido Brivio - Vienna
Vienna is the only major capital city in the world with significant wine production nearby. The vines still extend, however, into parts of the city itself, as they have done for hundreds of years.
Viticulture in Vienna is as old as Vienna itself - the Celtic settlement of Vedunia, and later the Roman garrison of Vindobona both cultivated grapes. The earliest named vineyards were documented in 1132, and by the late middle ages, all city districts had their own vineyards.
Viennese Heurigen culture, which so dominates Viennese wine to this day, was made possible by Emperor Josef II, who in 1784 passed a law allowing wine growers to sell their wine alongside home-made food. Viennese will often on a nice day take the tram out to go for lunch in a Heuriger, ideally one attached to a winery in a vineyard district. If you are visiting Vienna for business or tourism, take the time to do the same.
Our main winemaker in Vienna is the fantastic Rainer Christ, always one of the best !
Motivated by a long family-business tradition in the drinks industry, Guido Brivio set out at the beginning to target restaurants and speciality wine shops with high quality Swiss wines.
""The canton of Ticino has been producing Merlot here for 100 years. About 90% of the grapes grown here are Merlot, grown with an Italian touch, and we want to concentrate on becoming a specialist on Merlot. The soil here is ideal for that type of grape. We are lucky because Merlot is recognised internationally and much easier to sell than a Fendant.
"In the canton of Ticino, from north to south, there are fantastic soil conditions for Merlot. Merlot is a great grape. You can make tons of different styles of wine, rosé, white, dry white, blend it with Cabernet, make it red and fruity and light, or make a big heavy red for aging. Our dry white Merlot is very popular.
"In the south, where we are, the soil is mainly clay. This produces a tobacco smell, spicy, Cuban cigar and contributes to a nice elegant Merlot.
"The winery has been completely renovated with the adoption of the most advanced wine-making technology and we are gradually replacing all of the wine-making machinery. Currently, the winery can process up to 300,000 kilos of grapes through the use of high-tech systems.
"To obtain the best grapes in Ticino, closer personal contacts were established with the region's wine-growers and new vineyards were planted in accordance with the most recent wine-growing methods. They produce grapes of the highest quality, among the best that this territory can offer.
"The aging of the wines is in French oak barrels in our centuries-old cellars dug deep into the rock at the base of Monte Generoso. They were built to season cheese, salami and to mature wine. Also for those who built them to party with their friends.
"There is natural aeration through holes dug in the rock to channel a flow of cool air into the cellars. When it rains the water pushes out fresh air on this Swiss side. This produces the ideal atmospheric conditions for making wine. The perfect level of humidity is also maintained naturally that way.
""We decided six years ago that the best indication of the quality and demand for our wines was from the market not from competition. My personal opinion is there are too many international competitions. There are Gold medals everywhere. What is the meaning of 50 Gold medals from the same competition? There is supposed to be one Gold, one Silver and one Bronze. It is confusing for people when they see so many medals. Having so many medals and competitions lacks value.
"Our focus is to promote our wines on the ground, meeting people and letting them taste. The feedback we receive from the market is real and valuable. It is important to us that people buy and talk about our wines."