Helena Valley - the Austrian Art of Wine

Welcome to Helena Valley

Based on 2,800 years of wine culture in Austria, Helena Valley Winery near Retz represents select wines. Our traditional practice of producing wine in one of Europe's authentic and time-honored wine regions and the vivacity of Austrian grape varieties are just a few of the reasons that make our wines truly special. Whether you are looking for fine spice notes, opulence, harmonious balance, light or full bodied and a magnificent range of aromas, we have it all. We cordially invite you to get acquainted with the Helena Valley Winery.

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The Valley

Our Wines

 

The grapes that make up our Grüner Veltliner wine grow mostly on soil overlaying the rocky, prehistoric geology and outcrop around Retz. The grapes are pressed whole, in line with ancient traditions and are fermented in a cool temperate environment. The wine is bottled in spring right after harvest and has an alcohol content of 12%. Grüner Veltliner complements all types of cuisine. Culinary chefs globally have marked this wine as a universal accompaniment to all types of food. It is a refreshing, versatile and excellent wine that is easy to pair making it the go to wine. Grüner Veltliner has significant aging potential.

Origin & History

The Grüner Veltliner also known as Green Veltliner, is the most important grape variety in Austria and has grown in popularity worldwide over the last 20 years. Grüner Veltliner plantations make up approximately 13,500 hectares and accounts for more than one third of the entire vineyards in the country. The Grüner Veltliner grape was first documented in the middle of the 19th century and it can be traced back to the time of the Romans.

Character of the Wine

What is distinct about this wine is its intensity and refreshing flavor. The characteristics of this wine are light, fresh, fruity with a hint of citrus as well as spicy with a white pepper profile. The prehistoric rock found beneath the vineyards lends mineral notes and finesse to the wine.

Culinary Classification

Grüner Veltliner is known worldwide to go well with all types of cuisine. Culinary chefs globally have marked this wine as a universal accompaniment to all types of food. The Grüner Veltliner grape has attained international recognition winning many awards and blind tastings.

Significance for the Region

Grüner Veltliner is the mainstay of the wine region. It is by far the most cultivated vine type. The local climate and soil conditions for growing the grapes are renowned to be the most ideal in the world. Grüner Veltliner accounts for one third of Austria’s vineyards and is served at fine restaurants worldwide.

 

Our White Cuvée blends together several varieties of grapes from the region around Retz. With its invigorating aromas of blossoms, wild herbs and fruits it consistently exudes crispness, vibrant acidity and delight. Thanks to White Cuvee’s great variability it easily adapts to all types of food or enjoyed on its own. It is the perfect wine for the many beautiful moments in life.

Origin & History

White Cuvée is made by blending different varieties of grapes with the goal of creating new compositions of tastes and textures for a better quality wine. What is essential is that the result in the flavor of the blend is significantly superior to the single varietal flavor. Good grape blending is truly an art form. That is why winemakers that master this process belong to the best of their trade. Blending has a long tradition in Austria where excellent winemakers have spent lifetimes perfecting some of the best Cuvées. Many Austrian Cuvées are distinguished as some of the world’s finest wines.

Character of the Wine

The choice of different grape varieties, which are subject to identical regional, climate and elemental factors, is the secret to developing a desirable and reliable Austrian Cuvée. Scented nuances stemming from Pinot Blanc, Müller-Thurgau and Grüner Veltliner grapes are revealed in the wine, reminding the drinker of the freshness of blossoms and the flora of spring meadows. Traditionally stored in steel barrels, the White Cuvée retains a remarkable freshness and has a maturing time of 1-5 years.

Culinary Classification

The variety of subtle flavors in White Cuvée makes this wine a versatile accompaniment with great food! The diverse, fruity “high-notes“ of this wine combine superbly with many different dishes and yet it is also wonderfully enjoyable on its own. White Cuvée pairs well with shellfish, seafood, vegetable dishes and grilled chicken.

Significance for the Region

In other wine-producing countries like France and Spain, grape-blending and Cuvée production are commonplace, but in Austria these processes are comparatively rare. However, we do have a long tradition among Austrian winemakers for the production of "a blended batch." This consists of different grape varieties grown, harvested, brewed and cellared in the same geographical area. The different grape varieties are affected in a similar way by the shared elemental factors of climate, geology, soil type and altitude.

 

Fully seasoned grapes for Rosé come from warm and gravel-like soil. It denotes a stunning aroma and subtle notes of red berries. On the palate it is rich, fruity, refreshing and finely spiced. This Rosé is supremely invigorating and is the ideal wine for any festive occasion.

Origin & History

Rosé wine has been available since the existence of winemaking. Rosé has long been a staple in Europe. Although there are many ways of making Rosé wine, traditionally it is created by pressing red wine grapes until the juice has the desired color. Rosé has few soil requirements. However, this leads to higher yields that require intensive vine pruning and yield regulation in order for its potential to be reached. There has been an increase in supply of international Rosé wines which is a clear sign of the growing popularity that it has been experiencing in recent years. Rosé was known to be consumed during the warmer seasons but today due to its strong appeal it has proven to be a wine for all seasons.

Character of the Wine

Typically from the Blauer Portugieser grape our Rosé wine is light bodied and fruity with a hint of spiciness. The main scent of our Rosé is rather fruity with undertones of berries such as raspberry, strawberry and cherry. The most compelling characteristics of a good Rosé are that it is light, refreshing and silky smooth on the palate. This wine is best enjoyed during the aging period from 1-5 years.

Culinary Classification

Rosé is an excellent food accompaniment for diverse meals and cuisines. There are endless possibilities in pairing Rosé with food. Since it is a fruity and light wine it has a tendency to be consumed in summer months yet great all year long. Rosé pairs nicely with seafood, fish, poultry, pork, veal, spicy foods, roasted vegetables, cheese as well as pastries.

Significance for the Region

In Austria, the local wine makers have invigorated new life into Rosé wine and its varieties. You most certainly will always find Rosé in wine cellars.

 

Helena Red exudes a shimmery ruby red color with a light violet tone. The fine fruitiness swirls alluringly around the palate with a discreet aroma of cherries along with fine spicy nuances. Helena Red's fruity elegance, spice notes and full body makes a great red wine on its own or even with a slight chill. It is smooth, divine and ready to be enjoyed.

Origin & History

Helena Red is produced with one of the most widespread and indigenous varieties of red grapes in Austria. This wine variety is a cross between St. Laurent and Blaufränkisch grapes.

Character of the Wine

Helena Red has a violet-red color. This wine has silky textures, juicy fruit tones, black pepper spice, light herbs and earthy flavors. It also has an acidity factor, a rare quality for many red wines. Typically, the fruit flavors are raspberry, black cherry, cranberry and red cherry. You get a brief lift of flavor on the palate which quickly dissipates leaving almost no finish. It is velvety smooth, crisp and divine. In a young Helena Red, the fruitiness is the predominant taste but as the wine matures the flavors become more complete offering a smooth finish. Helena Red is best enjoyed during the aging period from 1-8 years.

Culinary Classification

Helena Red is perfectly suitable not only as an aperitif but is also ideal when paired with meals. Such as, salads, poultry and duck. It also goes well with Italian and Asian cuisine and hard types of cheese. In summer, Helena Red is recommended particularly for barbecues with grilled steaks or venison dishes.

Significance for the Region

As "Authentic Austrian", this red wine is the indisputably number 1 among domestic red wines and is second only to Grüner Veltliner with more than 14 per cent of the entire area under vine cultivation. Apart from the wine-growing region in Neusiedlersee, this variety is particularly widespread around Retz with approximately 1,600 hectares.

Winemaker

The Helena Valley Winery

Two friends, Manfred Bannert and Walther Schnopfhagen are wine enthusiasts with a passion for excellent wine. Their winery located near the beautiful landscape of Retz offers the best wine selection with an emphasis on fine wines. They truly live their dream as winemakers. Their ability to make first hand decisions about the winemaking process provides the team with a great amount of control and flexibility to ensure high quality wines. Manfred and Walther’s ongoing commitment is to provide authentic top quality wines. They strive to maintain a sustainable wine culture embedded in the landscape of Retz where both live with their families. The high quality and consistency of the wine stems from the impressive ability of local and experienced winemakers as well as the fertile soil around Retz.

INNOVATION MEETS TRADITION

Manfred and Walther combine innovation with tradition, especially Manfred who is a fourth generation winemaker. The Bannert Winery is situated in the village of Obermarkersdorf near the famous wine city of Retz - just like the Helena Valley Winery. The Bannert family has owned and operated the winery for four generations and now cultivates and manages 18 hectares of vineyards. The diverse soils and the climate around the Manhart Mountain provide the ideal precondition for the cultivation of wines with varietal and regional character.

AWARD-WINNING SUCCESS

Numerous awards and accolades confirm the exceptional quality of Bannert wines. Such as, the “Austrian Summer Wine 2010”, “Country Wine Fair 2010”, “Weinviertlerin-Award 2011 – Winemaker of the year”, “Vineus Award 2012”, “Top Heuriger 2013” and “Austrian Wine Challenge” – numerous gold medals. At the AWC Vienna International Wine Challenge 2014 – Manfred Bannert’s wines won 3 gold medals. As part of the largest officially recognized wine review of the world, a total of 12,353 wines were submitted from 40 countries by 1,900 producers this year and 3 of Bannert’s wines have achieved the gold medal: Grüner Veltliner, Cuvée and Saint-Laurent. From 2005 to 2010 Bannert wine was served as the official wine of the famous Bregenz Festival.

Bannert is one of the most prominent wineries in the region. This long standing experience and success with winemaking in Europe, has propelled Manfred Bannert to expand operations with the creation of Helena Valley Winery. His expertise and solid reputation in winemaking speaks for the quality of Austrian wines now produced specifically for Helena Valley Winery. Helena Valley Winery has the capacity to provide and meet the demand of large quantities for the US market.

 

ContactPage

Helena Valley Winery Inc.
175 East 96th Street, Suite 25Q
New York, NY 10128
www.helenavalleywinery.com