The Serbian Stunners of Oszkár Maurer @ Elmwood February 25th - Vintage Berkeley

This is Big.
(Or: I Wish I Were an Oszkár Maurer Winery.)

The only defeat Oszkár has ever suffered in a wrestling match

The Serbian Stunners
of Oszkár Maurer.

Importer Eric Danch in the House!

Tomorrow, 2/25. 6 PM.
At College Avenue.
Reserve your spot here!


I wish I were an Oszkár Maurer Winery
That is what I truly wish to be
Cause if I were a Oszkár Maurer Winery
Everyone would be in love
Oh everyone would be in love
Everyone would be in love with me!

What if we told you that one of the most exciting producers we tasted in 2021, flat-out, was not from France, Spain, Italy, California or Oregon? Or (checks notes) Germany, Austria, or Portugal? Or Argentina, Chile, or Australia? Or Greece? Or Georgia? Or even Hungary, Croatia, or Slovenia?

You'd imagine we were being esoteric for esoteric's sake.
And you'd be wrong.

There are corners of the world that —  through accidents of history — don't have Wine Councils. Whose governments don't have hundreds of thousands of EU dollars allocated to promote their vinous zipcodes in big hotel lobbies in major American metropolises. But we're here to tell you: promotional hype has nothing to do with vinous wonder.

Like the Subotičko–Horgoškoj region of northern Serbia, say: a place that's not in any Wine Atlases... despite the fact that viticulture here has been documented as far back as the 1200's! Part of Hungary for centuries, the population remains mostly ethnic Hungarian... and the grapes, too, are from a time way before "Balkanized" was an adjective.

Oszkár in the wild

It's here that an ex-punk named Oszkár Maurer has made a name for himself as the hottest-sh!# winemaker in all of Serbia. He farms a measly 7 hectares here... including the oldest known Kadarka vineyard (Hungary's beloved red grape) in the world (!) planted in 1880.

Oszkár also has 9 hectares in the Srem region (a wine region since the Romans called it Syrmia) a little further south. Apart from the Danube, the geographical star is the Fruška Gora mountain. Formerly an island in the Pannonian Sea, the soil here is volcanic with a layer of marine sediment atop.

Locals call it the “holy mountain” because at one point there were over 30 monasteries of which 16 still stand today. It’s also the first national park in Serbia. Needless to say, there is something special about this place, and it makes sense when you learn that winegrowing dates back a thousand years or more here:

Fruška Gora National Park

From Byzantines to botrytis, there's. Just. So. Much. To talk about! The Ottomans driving grapes out and up into Tokaj! The possibililty of self-recuperation, after war, through viticulture! The Unbearable Lightness of Olaszrizling!

So much to discuss, in fact, that you're best off not reading about it, but attending a tasting... and talking to one of the most insatiably curious, vinously adventurous wine importers in all of America: Eric Danch.

Eric Danch, Oszkár Maurer, and their root-baby

Eric and Oszkár both are the sort of obsessively driven, freakishly positive people that we all want to spend time with... regardless of wine! The fact that they also happen to be guardians of nigh-lost grapes and forgotten traditions? It just makes them all the more irresistible.

Tomorrow Eric will be pouring 5-6 of Maurer's wines, including some of the rarest wines to come out of Europe, period. (Whites! Reds! Oranges! Bubbles!) Despite the fact that some of these grapes sound like your cat's sneezes? (Bakator! Mézes Fehér! Szerémi Zöld!) These are bottles that some of the most elite restaurants in western Europe and Scandinavia fight over (like here , or here)!

Come at 6:00 to get your glass of bubbles and a plate of Danch-made sauerkraut stew... but be here by 6:30 sharp to catch the discussion with Eric: while this won't be a staid seminar, we will be going in order; these wines are just too special not to pay attention to them!

The Serbian Stunners
of Oszkár Maurer.

Importer Eric Danch in the House!

Tomorrow, 2/25. 6 PM.
At College Avenue.
Reserve your spot here!

(Questions? Reply to this email!)

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