Winemonger.com

The Story of the Melusine


Marion Ebner is different from all the other winemakers we import, and not surprisingly, so are her wines.

Although she was born and raised in Vienna, she was always drawn to nature and the countryside, and by her early teens she already knew that she wanted make wine and had enrolled in the famous wine school in Krems. This was not a flip decision: in Austria, most winemakers are born into generations-old family wine businesses, and are also usually the son of the family. Against all odds, Marion bucked all of these conventional traditions and decided to go for it. At 16, she earned a twelve-month internship at one of the best wineries in Vienna, and was quickly taken under the wing of the winemaker, Fritz Wieninger, who remains her dear friend and mentor to this day.

After graduation, she decided to work in one of the best wine shops in Vienna so that she could understand the marketing side of wine while she gathered her resources. Then, at barely 20 years of age, she pooled those resources and made a deal to cultivate some grapes from one of the finest vineyards in the Kamptal region, producing the first small amount of Melusine; a full-bodied Gruner Veltliner with great complexity and promise. She sold-out the entire lot to specialty shops and private customers. The press quickly caught on, and with each vintage she gained more and more respect.

By 2002 she had added the best restaurants to her list of clients, and also produced her first Melusine red wine from grapes sourced out of Carnuntum. 2003 brought television interviews and more press, and she took on some debt to produce her largest vintage yet: 600 bottles of her Melusine Gruner Veltliner. This vintage also marked her alliance with Winemonger: 400 of those bottles were promptly bought to be imported here to the US (the rest sold out to private customers in Europe). 2005 will mark her foray into sparkling wines, the result of which we look forward to tasting!

We believe a wine mirrors the personality of its creator, and the Melusine is fresh, direct, full of passion, and unconventional (indeed, the Gruner Veltliner sees some aging in French oak barrels, a practice not permitted in the neighboring Wachau region). We have heard that it appeals to more of an international palate, but we found that even more so, it achieves the one primary goal set out by Marion: quality without compromise. It is also like the story that inspired the name: the beautiful Melusine spirit of fresh waters in sacred springs and rivers, the mermaid siren that seduced Goethe in the tale, and now everyone else who is lucky enough to get a bottle.

 

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