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Press Release In Time For Summer: Blue

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Blue Danube Wine Company is proud to introduce the Craftsman™ series of wines from Hilltop Neszmély Winery of Hungary to California and the West Coast. This exciting new line brings the refreshingly flavors of some of Hungary’s finest grape varietals to American palates. The six whites, two reds and one sweet wine have been carefully selected to capture the flavor and character of Hungarian wines. The varietals include Királyleányka, Irsai Olivér, Olaszrizling, Muscat Ottonel, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris (Szürkebarát), Kékfrankos (Blaufränkisch) and Tokaji Aszú. Hilltop Neszmély Winery is at the forefront of the renaissance of Hungarian wine making and internationally renowned wine critic Jancis Robinson terms the winery “one of the country’s leading wine exporters”. Focusing on importing top wines from Central Europe, in particular from Austria, Croatia, and Hungary, Blue Danube Wine is pleased to expand its portfolio of sophisticated flavorful food friendly wines. Our winemakers combine old winemaking traditions and indigenous grape varietals typical of their regions to produce distinctive wines.

Los Altos, CA July 13, 2004 -- Blue Danube Wine Company is proud to introduce the Craftsman™ series of wines from Hilltop Neszmély Winery of Hungary to California and the West Coast. This exciting new line brings the refreshingly flavors of some of Hungary’s finest grape varietals to American palates.

The six whites, two reds and one sweet wine have been carefully selected to capture the flavor and character of Hungarian wines. The wines boast a wonderfully floral nose, refined aroma, yet a gentleness preferred by many. The varietals include Királyleányka, Irsai Olivér, Olaszrizling, Muscat Ottonel, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris (Szürkebarát), Kékfrankos (Blaufränkisch) and Tokaji Aszú.

Hilltop Neszmély Winery is at the forefront of the renaissance of Hungarian wine making which started just fifteen years ago with the demise of communism. The winery produces superb white and red wines from grapes grown in historic wine regions of Hungary and has won many awards in the UK, France and Hungary. Internationally renowned wine critic Jancis Robinson terms the winery “one of the country’s leading wine exporters”.

Focusing on importing top wines from Central Europe, in particular from Austria, Croatia, and Hungary, Blue Danube Wine is pleased to expand its portfolio to make this range of indigenous Hungarian grape varieties available to consumers in the western United States. Istvan Flesch, US Sales Director at Hilltop Neszmély Winery says, “ We are excited to have Blue Danube Wine Company carry our distinctive wines made with unique Hungarian grape varieties. They will captivate those wine lovers who taste them for the first time.”

Hilltop Neszmély Winery
Hilltop Neszmély Winery was founded in 1990 in the early phase of Hungary’s privatization by four owners: Éva Keresztury, wine merchant, Imre Török, banker, Judit Storcz, wine merchant and Ákos Kamocsay, winemaker. In the historic Ászár-Neszmély wine region located 50 miles northwest of Budapest and halfway to Vienna, the winery lies amid spectacular vistas covered by ancient and newly planted vineyards overlooking the Danube river. The temperate climate with 2500 hours of annual sunshine, the warm loess soil, and the hilly terrain all favor the quality of the grapes.

Hilltop Neszmély Winery produces modern innovative wines while at the same time capturing the flavors from uniquely Hungarian grapes to create wines that are pleasantly familiar but new and exciting at the same time. After growing under careful vineyard techniques, the grapes arrive in a newly equipped "state-of-the-art" winery. An incredibly cautious handling of the grapes occurs: after being picked by hand, they are transported in small plastic crates and chilled immediately upon crushing to prevent any oxidation. Modern, very gentle, temperature controlled juice extraction tanks and a careful yeast selection with emphasis on the individuality of each tank, aims to preserve maximum varietal and terroir character. Stainless steel tanks with full control of temperature, nitrogen and CO2 for every vat and new Hungarian barriques and large oak barrels for fermentation and maturation round out the facilities of the new winery.

Hilltop Winery’s head Winemaker Ákos Kamocsay is widely respected as a leading winemaker. He has been chosen “winemaker of the Year’ 1997 in the UK by Grapevine magazine and in 1999 by the Hungarian Academy of Wine. Kamocsay believes “The winemaker’s role is to interfere as little as possible in the life of the wine and to help Mother Nature show off her work of art. You should make easy-to-drink wine that brings joy to as many people as possible”. The winery has been the winner of numerous awards in Britain and France including the "White Wine of the Year 1998" at the International Wine Challenge, London. Hilltop Neszmély Winery is the largest exporter of Hungarian wine to Great Britain.

Craftsmanâ„¢ Wines
The Craftsman™ wines have been created for everyday enjoyment. They are wines for relaxed afternoons and evenings when, after a good day’s work or a fine day out in the yard, you want something easy yet delicious to comfort your soul. The wines are also easy on the pocketbook priced between $8–$10.

Why the name Craftsman™? Well, winemaking is indeed a fine craft. Following the age-old European tradition of craftsmanship, winemakers Ákos Kamocsay and Ágnes Dezsényi lovingly create these wines from the finest resources available.

The Craftsman™ wine series consists of a fragrant Királyleányka, a super-juicy Irsai Olivér, a tantalizing Olaszrizling, a fruity Muscat Ottonel, a wonderfully spicy Gewürztraminer, an elegant Pinot Gris (Szürkebarát), a fruity Kékfrankos & Merlot cuvee, a warm spicy Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot cuvee and an opulent 1993 Tokaji Aszú 5 Puttonyos that was recently awarded 94 points by Wine Spectator. All of these wines provide proof that top quality Hungarian grapes can be turned into wines of value.

Carpenter’s White - Irsai Olivér
A crisp, fragrant and aromatic light wine. Perfect for a relaxed afternoon or evening with friends and family. Made from Irsai Olivér, a native Hungarian grape.    
    
Woodsman’s White - Királyleányka
A delightfully well-balanced, flavorful yet light white wine. Made from Királyleányka, a native Hungarian grape

Cooper’s White - Olaszrizling (Welschriesling)
Made of well-ripened Olaszrizling (Welschriesling) grapes, this wine tantalizes with its rich flavors yet soothes with its mild and balanced acidity.

Cobbler’s White - Gewürztraminer
Floral bouquet and spicy aroma. Unique soil conditions allow this wine to show off the lovely bouquet and spicy aromas of the Gewürztraminer grape, while retaining a pleasantly refreshing character.

Gardener’s White - Muscat Ottonel
Wonderfully fruity – on the sweeter side. This fruity white is an excellent choice with spicy Asian dishes or as an aperitif to sip before dinner. On the sweeter side, but not a dessert wine. Made of Muscat Ottonel grapes.

Mariner’s White - Pinot Grigio (Szürkebarát)
An elegant and balanced, medium-body wine. Made from well-ripened Pinot Grigio grapes, this pleasant wine shows off ripe flavors combined with a luscious fruity character.

Journeyman’s Red – Kékfrankos & Merlot Cuvee
A deliciously fruity, medium-body blend. This elegant blend combines the ripe strawberry-toned aromas of the Hungarian Kékfrankos grape with the plummy fruitiness of Merlot.

Falconer’s Red - Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot Cuvee
A magical blend of warm, spicy notes. A deliciously warm, medium-body red wine that combines the classic ripe plum flavors of Merlot with the rich black currant aromas of Cabernet Sauvignon.

Tokaji Aszú 5 Puttonyos 1993
Tokaji Aszú is an aged sweet white made with specially selected botrytis (noble rot) grapes that yield a highly concentrated, unique flavor. It is delicious as an aperitif or after-dinner wine. This Tokaji Aszú maintains a marvelous balance between natural sweetness and crisp acidity. The flavor is rich and opulent, with hints of ginger. The Wine Spectator just awarded it 94 points and reviewed the wine as “Lush and smoky in aroma, with flavors of orange marmalade, apricot and smoke, this is elegant, with a vibrant structure coaxing the flavors to a lengthy conclusion. Really hitting its stride now.” The introductory price for this excellent dessert wine is $39.95.

For additional information about Blue Danube Wine Company and the Craftsman wines contact Frank Dietrich, (650) 941-4699, info@BlueDanubeWine.com or visit www.BlueDanubeWine.com

About Blue Danube Wine Company
Blue Danube Wine Company is a Los Altos, California based importer and distributor of fine wines from Austria, Croatia and Hungary. Our focus is the vibrant renaissance taking place in the old wine cultures along the Danube River.

We specialize in small family owned wineries with outstanding reputations that produce sophisticated flavorful food friendly wines. The Blue Danube Wine Collection features handcrafted estate grown wines of exceptional character. Our winemakers combine old winemaking traditions and indigenous grape varietals typical of their regions to produce distinctive wines.

We are dedicated to discovering and bringing to US wine lovers new and exciting wine varietals.

CONTACT INFORMATION:
Frank Dietrich
Blue Danube Wine Company
(650) 941-4699
www.BlueDanubeWine.com
info@BlueDanubeWine.com


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